I remember colder winters, when snow was deeper and seemed to last longer. And our lakes and streams froze over for months, allowing us to skate for hours at a time-day after day. My mother would pack up a thermos of hot cocoa and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and off I would go until dinner time. Sometimes sleigh riding down neighboring hills with friends, but more often exploring the nearby rivers, streams and ponds; gliding around enjoying the scenery, totally taking advantage of the frozen world. It was an adventure to explore these otherwise inaccessible spots, stopping midstream to inspect a beaver chewed branch, looking through transparent spots in the ice hoping to see a fish, doing swirls and twirls pretending to be Dorothy Hamill.
Forsaking a miracle, ice is the element that allows us to walk-or skate-on water. Although my skates (adorned with bells and pom-poms) are collecting dust in the basement, I haven’t given up on the joys of ice. Now, instead of skating, I explore the yard after a cold rain, enjoying the breathtaking display that the coating of ice has created. Branches glisten as the sun rises, leaves look like precious jewels waiting to be worn. And so, despite the cold weather and the quiet landscape, there is still such beauty to be admired from a simple sprinkle of water.
With the recent cold snap, I decided to pursue ice in the area. I went to Kent Falls to admire the frozen flow, listening to the promise of spring currents running hidden below inches of ice. The formations were incredible, and although I knew it was an illusion, I felt certain that the ice was moving. The crystallization was that defined. After basking with the sounds of the current, I drove to another nearby water source, Bull’s Bridge dam. There, the water tumbled over the dam’s edge, crashing over rocks that resembled resting whales, ultimately flowing from view. The thundering noise was loud, yet somehow calming and charged with energy. Random ice configurations lined the banks, while intense sprays of rushing water drenched overhanging branches with white frosting. The scenery was breathtaking, and I was blessed to be able to witness such a glorious display of nature.
Though the landscape may be quiet, and the temperature chilly, there is still so much beauty to be observed right outside our doors. And it all comes from a precious, life sustaining, colorless, odorless liquid called water.