As the mix of burgundy and peppered-yellow leaves disappear from the gentle snow flakes sticking to the ground, a crisp and cold breeze blows by, swiftly kissing me on the cheek as I walk along the path. The world smells pure, and the trees whistle in the wind. I’m so giddy with happiness that I could frolic through the woods and stuff my face with the fluffy snow, but I embrace the urge and simply smile with content. Surrounded by the ever-growing pine trees and an occasional snow man on the way, families are out with little snow bunnies running around, carrying vibrant sleighs the same size as them. This is my oasis.
Away from the chaotic mess they call the Silicon Valley, where everyone is subconsciously competing with the next, Tahoe continues to be my refuge where I can escape the busy American lifestyle and feel as if my life can and possibly will start over. Families put aside their built-up frustrations as the cold winter weather forces everyone to cozy up by a fire or squeeze on a couch to watch a movie. The world seems as if it’s stopped in time to muster up all the shared happiness in the world and use it as momentum to spin it forward again.
Silence is often thought of as an awkward pause, yet it can be that moment to regather ones thoughts and forget them all at the same, for the benefit of a quick relaxing pause – the complete opposite of awkward. There are many restful and rejuvenating features in the winter wonderland they call Tahoe, testing your senses and ability to vacate a busy schedule. Those who embrace the pause, breathe in the happiness and let go of the lingering stress find themselves in the same refuge I look forward to each year, and will continue to do so for the following years to come.