Life Topics

Winter’s End on the Lake

The Lake in Winter (photo credit Eric Vickery)

The rough texture of the sun-soaked ice is deep shades of gray and white with small mounds of snow scattered, showing weeks of thawing, and freezing.  The lake’s surface transforms by the day as the Spring approaches.  Sometimes there is open water, then two days later its ice again, dashing my hopes of warmth.  Bright baby-blue skies with a few dabs of clouds and majestic pines lining the solid shore creates a collage of brilliance.  Long shadows and the bright glare bouncing off the lake can trick you into thinking it’s warm, as you gaze out the window.  But the wind!  Oh, the wind does not lie.  It howls like a hungry wolf, hunting for its next prey.   The trees shake angrily, and the one chair sits on the deck holding its ground until Spring.

It’s the coming end of Winter that brings promise.  However, late one night, the weather people excitedly announce a coming storm, as my eyes and the season begin to fade.  Tomorrow will be like a rebirth of a frigid December day.  A rerun of a Winter’s day when you hoped for snow for the holidays.  This time of year the alarm is futile, as the soft falling puffs are half melted before reaching the ground.   If the snow sticks to the few spots of uncovered grass and mud,  it will be short lived.  In two days it may be warm.  For now though, I’ll just imagine myself sitting by the fireplace, that we don’t have, thinking of Summer boat rides.  Maybe I’ll start to make plans with friends who have been in seasonal hiding, barricaded in their homes.  Because, if you dare have intentions in the dead of Winter, you’re an optimistic fool.  I’ve learned, as a New Englander, to have a respectful fear of a volatile Mother Nature. Hopefully she is starting to calm now.  Her last attack will be a roaring March storm with whipping winds to warn you she does not give up easily.

The beauty of Winter is undeniable.  The lake transforms, blanketing the water with solid rock of cold intentions.  It begs your eyes and mind to daydream. However, the dreadfully short days and long dark nights start to deplete my sanity.  But, soon all the birds will come back to sing their songs.  I will sit in the warm sun on the deck, in the lone deck chair that survived, staring at the twinkling ripples on the lake.  It always seems strange to me that people marvel when the nice days come, they’ve been here before.  The Spring always comes.  She usually appears out of nowhere, as I pray the latest storm will usher away the Winter for good.