Saturday, December 01, 2007

Freezing Over

I come here in early winter to be a witness as the beaver pond freezes over, to watch as ice forms in the trees along the pond, on the reeds along its perimeter and the brittle tumps of aquatic grasses which fringe the swimming channels of the resident beaver colony, now tucked warm and snug in its lodge out in the center of the pond.

Mere photos will never do justice to this place, and neither will my words, but here I am anyway on a freezing day, bundled up in my warmest winter gear with a camera slung around my neck and a noggin full of words which have icicles dangling from them.

The water is icy cold and clear, and it contains not only the dreaming landscape around the pond, but the whole blue winter sky - nothing whatsoever of this perfect day is left out, forgotten or willfully cast aside. In early morning, everything sparkles in the sun, and the light is so intense it is blinding - one can scarcely see a thing. Since I know the contours of these peaceful waters as well as I know the contours of my own two wrinkled hands, this being blinded is not a problem. It feels good to stand on the shoreline in the sharp winter light, thoughtful and all bedazzled - I am right where I should be.

These early winter visits are good times for revisiting the year; for remembering frogs singing at dusk in springtime, mud turtles sunning on their log perches in summer and deer coming down to the shore to drink, herons striding through the shallows in autumn and migrating geese winging their way overhead. This year, the water lilies were spectacular all summer long.

My pond may seem quiet, abandoned and forlorn at this time of year, but that is only an illusion - it's crowded with fur and scales and bright plumage, with flowers, wild musics and happy memories.


Changes in the wind said...

A time of rest

Linda G. said...

Lovely Cate, thank you again:)

Val said...

Thank the universe for your noggin full of words! These are so full of wisdom and beauty - and consolation when I fear winter's grip around the corner here in Dorset; - and reminding me that it is all illusion.

Suzanne said...

This is so tender and loving of our beloved earth that it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, Cate.


Livia Indica said...

Wow, you've inspired me to trudge around the land and visit our ponds.