that followed the rain that chased the snow after the first melt but before the freeze before that.
Rain collects in glacier-green puddles on the frozen bog. Streams reappear. A live bubble floats by on its own adventure, rotating, rushing, slinking and sliding between its unfortunate brethren forever stilled in ice.
It’s vastly different every time. Erase and repeat with a focus on physics. The puddle surface freezes overnight and the water disappears who knows whereto leaving lace so fine it shatters when you breathe on it. But it holds snow the next day and I know what gorgeous patterns of ice I am destroying with every step because I was here yesterday before the snow fell. I can hear it when the hound jumps on the bog with great enthusiasm and then looks at his feet, “what was that?” and tentatively moves along.
I am glad I know where to walk and where not to. Or I should. Where I trampled snow into ice last week — I think — right there I won’t crash into the pocket of air trapped in a bunch of reeds, right through the ice into the muddy murk below. If I am lucky. All I can do is boldly go and hope I don’t fall headlong into the drink when I inevitably hit water.
I am hoping for both for this year: to boldly go, and for everyone’s feet to emerge unscathed.*
Sez the hound: “I’m not a fan of wet feet but some things are more important. Get your feet wet or crash through the ice once in a while. Otherwise you don’t get to the other side where the smells are best. And if you see a pile of black goo by the dam where you can cross to the rest of the bog, you have to roll in it. Smells like those beaver guys that live around here in the water. Good stuff!”
* And I insist that it is perfectly fine to enthusiastically split infinitives. Why else have two parts?
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