The first bluebird day in an age… It’s rumoured for days. Even pre-dawn on ‘the day of’ when you can see the strong outline of all the mountains clearly against the sky, as if drawn by a good graphite pencil, the excitement builds.
The Bluebird day begins…
The pink sky gradually gives way to an ever-brightening blue. The weather forecast was correct, it’s really happening! A feast for the eyes. Distances between one mountain and the next, often muffled by cloud and snowfall, are suddenly crisp and clear. Each sugar-dusted fir tree creating a jagged point up into the horizon is rewarded with a stunning, entirely cloudless backdrop to show off its beauty.
For those heading up the hill visibility is perfect. Gone is the flat light of cloudy days, the undulating terrain no longer an unwelcome surprise to the knees, every rise and fall clear to see. Paragliders are the only thing to pierce the blueness of the sky as they gently float back to earth with their bright chutes. In the village the snow on tree branches and icicles on rooftops glint with glee in the bright sunlight. Chimney smoke wafts up softly to the blue backdrop, giving a sense of coziness inside.
This word which gets a whole resort excited. Bluebird. But where does it come from? I haven’t seen any birds in the sky, not to mention blue ones. There’s no old aircraft flying into view to the tune of White Cliffs of Dover. There’s no rainbow or Wizard of Oz. So why do we say it?
In Russian fairy tales the blue bird is a symbol of hope. In corporate circles it can mean an unexpected business opportunity that seemingly ‘flew in through the window’ and required little effort to secure. Apparently for duck hunters and anglers it’s a bad thing though, as with still waters and bright sun fish don’t bite and ducks prefer to lazily lounge about! L’Oiseau Bleu, a Belgian play from 1908, features a brother and sister, aided by a good fairy, seeking happiness, which was represented by a bluebird.
So hope, blueness, happiness, stillness, etc. But the actual etymology or first uses of a bluebird day in terms of skiing and boarding still eludes me. I wonder if there are any more theories or origins out there. Or if it’s translatable. Wherever it came from, enjoy your bluebird days!
To find more skiing terms check out our A-Z of ski terms here.