A winter storm exactly three weeks ago created extraordinary weekend skiing conditions for us in West Michigan. With temperatures holding between 28 and 30 degrees, I took to the cross-country ski trails at Seidman Park in the sequestered woodlands of Ada, MI.

The park was pristine: all wrapped in snow, a mid-afternoon sun broke through and danced on the waters of Honey Creek. The surroundings were the flint that ignited the imagination, dormant after the holiday season. A series of images suggested themselves to me: of winter camping on the shores of Lake Superior; of returning home to a fire, beef roast, and red wine; of sailing the Great Lakes (the sun had already begun its trek to the summer solstice and was carrying my thoughts with it).

For about an hour, I allowed my skis to glide through the snow, warmed by the physicality of the activity and exhilarated by the fresh winter air. Each season beguiles, but this was an encounter with Lady Winter.

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