When I look out at the white expanse of frozen lake, I no longer see winter as a small death, a time of darkness, a pause for breath.
I see a continual and wondrous process of transformation!
Ice is not static, but constantly changing.
In early winter’s deep cold, it was confusing that, this year, the ice seemed slower to come in. But with the cold came blankets of snow.
Each rock or dock intruding into the ice creates its own disruption.
Sometimes there is just whiteness, sometimes pools of lavender; sometimes the smoke that isn’t smoke billows around the islands. There are times of diamond brightness. Sometimes the world disappears.
Even in the heart of winter, somewhere, unseen, life goes on beneath the surface, even if I only know this by the presence in spring of turtles, frogs and fish.
The slow seeping of water bubbling out of the ground seeks its way through the ice creating a path – or a fault line?
A fallen oak leaf, absorbing light rather than reflecting it like the white surface that surrounds it, carves out space around itself.
What astonishes me is not just the overt shift from the fluidity of water to the apparent solidity of ice; nor is it the the purity and clarity of unbroken white, the illusion of stillness.
It is the awareness of a profound process of constantly occurring change.
Perhaps winter’s is the deepest transformation of all.
Snow falls silently as large crystals,
each, unimaginably, different, unique;
remains like goose-down,
With thaw, the feathers congeal.
Freeze creates of them
a crisp shell,
hard and resonant.