ode to a michigan winter

23 01 2009

pict0286For the last two days, the vast gray expanse of the northern sky has been like the weight of an iceberg on my chest.  This isn’t unfamiliar territory by any means.  You can’t live in these parts and not be affected.  Seasonal Affective Disorder is a reality to be dealt with as surely as the danger of falling icicles. The temps have been around 28º but we are headed back down to the teens for the next few days along with more snow.

I took this picture almost a year ago.  But today, we don’t even have enough sun to cause the hint of glint on that ice.  Icicles are hanging in the same spot though.  No shadows – just gray.  I know it won’t last forever.  I know winter will fade into spring. I know personal circumstances won’t weigh this much every day.  I know…I know…I know…

There was a time a few years ago that the river downtown flash froze over night. Seeing it as I walked from the parking lot to the hotel in the dark of pre-dawn was surreal.  No ice skating there – it was like the surface of the moon with waves and dips frozen in time – all choppy and rough.  It caused quite a mess till nature did what nature does and the melt began.

Maybe these days are for a purpose.  Maybe the imposed hybernation is necessary for some reason I’ll never know.  Days where it seems like all movement gets frozen.  Is it the numbing I mind?  Or is it that underneath the surface of the freeze, my mind is still rushing like the currents that lay on the river bottom?

The ice fisherman are in their glory with their little huts dotting another frozen lake just a mile away.  There are those who find a different kind of joy in this space.  I do admire them.  I do see the beauty.

But today is heavy.  I am alone.  So rarely alone that all the time I’m not alone, I daydream about what I might do and accomplish when I am alone.  By the shear force of my will, I’ll get up and do something small and hope it leads to some inner stream of great energy like the never ending flow toward the sea. Or not. What time does the Ellen DeGeneres Show start?

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