Friday, December 5, 2008

Nippy Nights

We're off to a cold start for December. Last night we dipped to 13 degrees. I drove over to the pond today because it serves as sort of a real world thermometer for me. It responds slower than the mercury one and averages out the days and nights and seems to give me a truer picture of the weather.

I was overjoyed to find the pond's surface still clear but mottled by snow flakes, blown into tiny white clusters and breaking the surface up into a reflection you might find with a dirty mirror. The pines (above) along the western shore reflect beautifully on this mottled surface. better even, I think, than had it been crystal clear. It is not imperfect when it is more interesting this way.

And along the eastern shore, by the bridge where fishermen cast all summer long, the surface calls to skaters. They're not allowed, of course, but the call is clear just the same. When I walked near the pond a few days ago, it had begun to melt and the rocks thrown across the ice by children were dropping to the bottom one by one. Even a branch skidded across the surface rested at the edge of a break and threatened to submerge. Now it, too, is gone from view.

Stand beside the water and look down at your feet, half sunken in the slushy muck and then jump back a step or two to higher ground. Look into the water at the pond's edge and you will see clear to the bottom. The oranges of autumn are gone and replaced by winter's light blue and grays.
Often in bed at night, electric blanket turned high, I think of things outdoors. I listen to the rain patter upon the window, the drops turn to ice, the splash of a car passing Pinehaven. I think of trees being watered, the wind blowing snowflakes across the pond, its wintry surface a canvas for the night's weather. I think these things, appreciate the heat above me, pull the covers high across my head ... and smile.