Oct 19

The Jump

The Jump
My feet crunched the snow as my thick boots led me toward the hill. It was mid-winter, a warmer day than most, and the tramping was making my forehead sweat. My friend Clementine was ahead of me, my short legs and puffy snowsuit weighing me down-and slowing me down. Finally, I reached the top of the hill. I sat down, not caring if my butt got wet or not. Mindlessly, my mittens picked up a ball of snow and packed it evenly. This was the best packing snow of the winter. It was the perfect mixture of wet and fluffy, a combination rare at least to Vermont. Judson, another friend, was thinking the same thing.

After we were done packing snow for the jump, I ran to the top of the hill and sat down in the big, black utility sled. As Clementine sat down behind me, we began moving. We gained speed as the slope got steeper and steeper. I saw the jump ahead of me. It got closer and closer until we were under it. The black sled crashed through the jump, making a tunnel of suspended snow up above us. Our movement slowed, and we stopped halfway down the hill, laughing and whipping the frozen snow from our cold faces. Judson put the black sled aside and packed the jump bigger than before. Clementine and I watched as he climbed to the top of the hill and got into his tube sled.

Judson scooched forward until he bagan steaming down the hill. The tube sled met the jump and Judson went flying. We watched jaws open, our necks craned as Judson soared, one hand tightly clutching the sled. His other the other stretching up to skim the clouds.

Judson landed gracefully in the fluffy snow. The three of us spent the rest of the day using the tube sleds to jump. The tube sleds were flimsy and therefore, did not break through the jump. Finally, toes numb and cheeks rosy red with fun, we went on our last few rides. I climbed the hill one more time. I dragged out the big black sled, excitement pumping through my body. My mouth open in a shout of, "Here I go!" as I screamed down the hill.

            The snow was compact, the sled hard, and I went down faster than anyone had before me. As I saw the icy jump ahead, I realized I was not going to break through it like last time; I was going to soar. And soar I did. I went so high I could have had a chat with the sun. For a moment, I stayed in the air suspended by an invisible thread before losing height and falling to earth again.

The rest of the day was fuzzy. I don't remember landing. I do remember Clementine's mom telling me to breathe, and me crying because I couldn’t. I don’t remember lying down in the sled. I do remember as Clementine’s dad dragged me back to Judson's house, taking cautious breaths and wincing with every movement. I don’t remember walking into the house. I do remember how happy I was to find a warm cup of hot chocolate waiting for me at home.