The boys and I head out to Cypress Mountain after a lazy morning with coconut pancakes, tea, and a good talk on the phone with my sister, always a treat on a weekend morning. The city is soaking wet but the mountains on the other shore are shrouded in clouds. As we drive towards them the fog clears up a bit and bits of sun trickle down on the window shield. We ascend, happy with the anticipation of a heavy snowfall and sideburns of dirty snow are growing on the sides of the road with every hairpin. We park, jump in snow pants, jackets and mitts and head up the trail. It’s not groomed, it’s the back country trail where people go hiking or snowshoeing. The risk of avalanche in the back country is moderate to high. Right. My prevailing thought is that I missed being in the snow. So much.

The boys jump in and out of mountains of snow. They laugh and tumble. And then they do it all over again. Mother polar bears must have the same satisfaction I had when they see their cubs all powdered up head to toe. The trees are heavy with snow, their branches tweak and the whole frosted forest speaks to us in the only language we’re interested of speaking at this hour. It snows heavily as we’re making the way up the trail. I stop to wait on the boys climbing through the trees with the intention of sledding down. An elderly gentleman on cross country skis stops to chat and tells me of another trail below the parking lot. He’s Norwegian, he says, over there most of the snow fun is free of charge. Like this one, he says. Tony sleds down fast and he parts with his sled just to see it disappear into a tree well. We contemplate coming back in the spring to get it but then we make a chain of arms and legs halfway down the well and retrieve the snow vehicle.

We follow the trail higher up until Sasha says his legs are tired. Fair enough. We stop for sandwiches and hot chocolate and then decide to turn back as it was getting dark and foggy. The boys sled down the trail shrieking and laughing. Sasha’s “awesooome” rolls down the path slower than the sled and it remains hanging in the snowy trees, the only thing we leave behind other than a deep snow angel Tony.

On our way back we stop by one of our favorite swimming pools. It’s almost empty. The lukewarm water feels nice and smooth. Outside it’s dark and the rain makes everything glittery wet. We get home late. I stop by the neighborhood grocery store to get some food for humans and Peruvian piglets. “It’s been a good day here in the store,” the clerk says as he hands me a bouquet of tulips. Yes it has. The trunk is full of wet clothes from a day of goodness, I know that much.