“The only people who live north in the winter are people who have never lived south,” my husband tells the world when gale force winds sweep across the lake, snow stinging the eyes of anyone walking the beach.
That, of course, would be me.
Occasionally, Rubin joins me as I explore a world barely visible through the sheets of white hiding a path I know by heart. The lake, I have learned, always dances in harmony with the wind. Most winter days, it moves slowly, rocking to a melancholy rhythm as if it, too, is chilled by the wintry air. But when winds whip across its surface, the lake responds as if in anger. Fueled by its massive size and depth, its rage boils into frothing waves, splintering the ice and hurling chunks on land. The smaller pieces shatter, the larger ones remain, slowly morphing into an icy mountain mirroring, in size, the dunes to the East.
My path weaves blindly between the walls of white.
A rogue wave forces its way under the ice mountain, blasting a hole through the top, searching for freedom. A fountain of water sprays the air as the lake reminds all of its mighty power. The mountain shudders. A sheet of thin ice cracks, rumbling and breaking the snowy silence.
When pressed, I struggle to name my favorite season, each so different in defining beauty. For me, the excitement is in the transition: the hushed green blanket of the Dutchman’s Breeches spreading across wrinkled layers of leaves; the first bits of human chatter emerging from shuttered cottages near our home; my Mother’s favorite shades of gold and orange splashing the dense foliage overhead; the first snowflake to touch my tongue. Nature’s transitions create a restlessness within me, spark a longing to explore, an awareness my time on earth is limited.
And so I wander, camera slung around my neck, searching for treasures.
I am never disappointed.
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