Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Moonlight and Ice

In one of her "little house" books, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes a night of frigid temperatures, when she and her sister Mary went for a walk on the frozen lake.

She describes the path of light created by the moon shining on the ice, and how she and Mary walked and "skated", sliding over the ice, following the moon path.

Each time I have read this passage, I have wondered what it is like to live in a place where water freezes deep enough and hard enough to walk on. I wonder what it is like to live in a place where snow stays on the ground all winter, where even the tightest, best insulated house has cold spots, where the temperatures fall into the teens or lower.

Aside from the snow, that's the kind of weather we have had here this week. One night it got down to thirteen degrees. We have been drinking a lot of hot spiced cider, tea, and cocoa. We have every blanket in the place on our bed, even the "fur" throw I usually keep on my rocker.

The pond at the RV park is frozen over. It has been frozen for five days.

Last night I let Frankie out, and was struck by the light shining on the frozen water, and like Laura, I felt as if it were inviting me to walk that shimmering path.

Unlike Laura, I am not a child, with a child's boundless energy. I am also fighting a sinus infection and bronchitis, so have not actually been outside for several days.

But last night, oh, last night, how I wanted to follow that icy path, to run and slide and run until my lungs hurt, to run and slide along that shining silver path, into the moon.