A short post this week. I’m skiing for a few days with students in the mountains, where the snow is still thick although the air has warmed. We bussed here this morning along the Nordfjord’s shores, through rocky valleys and mountain passes, and crossed the snow line just below camp.
The Nordic students step into their skis, and they are like fish in water. This is what the schoolchildren in town I see plodding along on miniature skis become. Cross-country skiing is integral to Norwegian culture rather than the niche hobby it is in Minnesota, and what I considered to be a respectable ability on a set of skis is, by the Norwegian standard, still beginner level.
Most of the non-Nordic students are true beginners. Some of these teenagers have never seen snow before this year, and here they are strapping plastic boards to their feet and sliding around mountains. Their daring inspires me: when they have just fallen for the twenty-ninth time, and they just stand up, retrieve their hat, their poles, untangle their feet.
It might be because their attitudes are impressively good. It might be because this is school, and like it or not, they have to ski. It might be the peer pressure of their classmates. It might be the invincibility of teenagers the world over.
Whatever its source, perseverance is a virtue for us writers too. Rejections pour in. A chapter doesn’t click. Reaching an audience is hard. But we’ll endeavor like teenagers who have never seen snow. Let’s keep standing up.