Clad in Arctic gear, I gingerly wend my way with Andi to frozen fields distant, where an ice paradise awaits us.
Fir trees, straight out of an eerie Hopper canvas, hover on the periphery. They bow with ice-laden boughs, in reverence to Winter’s majesty.
Grass underfoot produces a sound filled not with vowels; a sort of scrnznkschy noise with every step. Each blade is sheathed in ice, as though one has stumbled upon a vast pasture of crystallized French green beans, a bag found in the freezer years later, hidden beneath yet another crystallized slab of indeterminate meat.
Andi is leashless. Sometimes I like to set him free, unfettered from the 20-yard line of rope that keeps us tethered. I watch as he frolics about, sniffing here and there, his part hound breed searching for unseen New England truffles. He doesn’t seem to mind the snow and ice. So far.
A lone crow sits uncharacteristically quiet on a barren tree limb, its perpetual silhouette a slight rent against the expanse of gravid gray skies.
Andi darts to a tree, and a squirrel makes a quick escape. Andi sniffs the ground, perplexed as to where this creature might have fled.
Atop split rail fence posts, an almost perfect circle of ice sits, a winter’s version of a sand dollar.
There is nothing quite like a slow winter stroll to take in the mastery and beauty of a December day.
I stand between grass and road. The tarmac is covered with a thin veneer of ice. I watch in fascination as the subsurface water trickles its way down a tiny incline, inching along like a watery worm, its form reminiscent of blobs from a lava lamp.
I stand still and embrace the silence. In the distance, a vee of Canadian geese veers towards swamps that hold captive naiads ‘neath thin ice.
Andi looks pleadingly at me. He longs for the comfort of our couch. Reluctantly I turn homeward, and he bounds excitingly, in his zig-zag fashion, knowing that soon he will be ensconced in cushions and warmth.
Within its myriad of daunting guises, Winter still can provide a soul frissons of both wonder and calm.
©Paul Grignon, 2013-All Rights Reserved.