Who doesn’t love a good parlor game?

After so many months of parlor time among our own personal “bubbles”-wives, husbands, children, canines, felines, the warm-womb flicker of Netflix-the opportunity for mind games has been endless. So when we asked a few our favorite SNOW contributors to lie back, close their eyes, and play The Proust Questionnaire, our inbox piled as fast and high as a January snowfall.

“What is your current state of mind?” My patellar response­co,􀀤flicted-reflects a piquant emotional bouillabaisse. Excitement for the start of the ski season, to be sure-in many regions, snow has blanketing down and lifts began firing as early as mid-November, accompanied by a welcome showing of new skis, buttery-soft sweaters and swanky new restaurants. But storm clouds may yet deliver more than fresh powder. Can we fly over borders’? Reach the deepest snow, the finest alpine hideaways, the places where the cheese and the bread are uniformly superb and alpine culture beats in triple time? With all our hearts, we say yes,ja, oui, oui, oui. And here, we must zoom ahead to Question No. 1: “What is your idea of perfect happiness’?” Soft snow, sun, silky tracks, friends and, maybe just maybe, a seriously good lunch for afters. Iluzzah!

Never has skiing been so relevant, so in sync with the times-a heavenly way to be out in nature, to move our bodies, to laugh, and to live among kindred spirits. No matter the Zeitgeist, that first outing of the season is always a miraculous, wondrous triumph of muscle memory that creates turns out of cold, thin, flake-filled air. And here it is upon us.

Repeat after me. Schuss, schuss, schuss. We all need all the schuss we can get. SNOW is here to start the game in style.