December 23, 2006
Since returning from my last trip, I have made a daily ritual of walking down to the pond. It is frozen now, at least on the edges. My first day back the ice was gloriously smooth and it was such a thrill to slip around on it. I didn't trust it to be frozen clear across, so despite my very strong inclination to run to the other side, I remained near the edges. I thought about carrying a long pole with me, so that if (when) I fell through, hopefully the pole would not and I could then use it to lever myself out. But I decided I should probably just wait until there were some people around to save me.
The normally murky pond, frozen smooth, was crystal clear. Specimen of leaves and tree branches and little fishes were preserved so beautifully by the ice. And trapped air bubbles gave a clue to it's depth, so that I could step confidently. A day or two later, a dusting of snow curtained my frozen window down into the pond, but I am still compelled to walk there daily.
Another snowstorm passed through this week and put down several more inches (enough to close the school for three days!). I have been loving this winter-time immensely. It is a shift of perspective and sensibilities that I haven't had for SO LONG.
The muffling of small sounds by the snow-blanket and the echoing of big sounds by the frozen pond. The contrast between the white and the dead brown, new shapes exposed by the way each branch and stem catches the snow. The soft crunch of each step.
Snow makes me more cavalier - regardless of what may be hiding underneath, I trust the snow to soften my fall and so my movements become more bold. Old paths are covered over, and so new ones are tromped out, via more direct routes, former obstacles now hidden.
Today, the eaves are dripping from each icicle and where the animals and I have stepped, the snow is nearly melted to the ground. The sun is doing it's best, but I think we will still have a white christmas this year.