On a day with rain low and snow high we drive to connected mountain meadows where winter is enjoying one last rager before springs takes over. Falling snow adds to a skiable cover on the muskeg. When snow stops and the sun breaks loose of cloud cover it animates the tundra like meadows. Aki and I have to squint our eyes against the glare. Snow blindness conditions. I’m reminded of the day trips to the mountains behind Los Angeles “for the snow” I took when a child. There was beauty and pain then too, both provided by winter. The beauty most North Americans know: sun enriching white ground and the evergreens poking into a crayon blue sky. The pain was as simple: cold felt by bare hands or ones covered in cotton gloves. After an adulthood living in Alaska, I accept pain as a price for beauty. But it always surprised me when I was a California boy.