Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the art of freezing

I did it, I am one of the luckiest people on earth, I am so happy, I am full of joy:
I rode my bike outside today.
ok, got that out of my system. time to settle down now.

yesterday afternoon when the temperature rose to about 50 degrees and the sun was pouring through the cloudless sky, I was aching to be on my bike. the weather forecast for today predicted a high of 45 with mostly sunny skies, so last night before bed I promised myself I would make a ride fit into my day today.
thanks to connie, who brought my son home from school today, it all worked.

it's only been two weeks since I'd ridden, but it felt as though it'd been much longer. about half a mile from my house I was laughing to myself (which you know is a common occurrence), telling myself it's just like riding a bike . . . it comes back to you.
I headed up emigration and---perhaps I've said this before---it was the most beautiful I've ever seen it. this time surely trumps any other.
today the sky is cloudless, the hillsides are white. at the summit, you look out at white slopes and peaks as far as your eye can see, mountaintop after mountaintop stretching off into the distance. deeply piled snow aligns the roadways, and the air is so crisp and clear it cleans your lungs with each breath.
and the piece de resistance, what I'm aching to describe for you so that you may vicariously experience this through me, is the reservoir.
it has begun to freeze.
the edges have turned to ice, and they are slowly creeping their way out into the body of the reservoir. the far western end, the end where the dam holds back the water, is frozen solid, the ice reaching fifty, sixty feet into the center of the reservoir. the eastern edge, the rough and uneven shoreline, has also frozen and is sending its icy fingers toward the center, as well.
the middle of the reservoir is green and blue and deep as always, holding onto its liquidity, rippling with the breeze and defying the encroaching whispers of frozen crystals.
the surface nearest the dam is a thousand different colors of silver and white. swirls in the pattern of the ice belie my simple theory of ice forming on the edges and moving inward: something else is happening here. if I were God I would be tempted to reach down and play with the differing shapes and textures visible on the surface: the platinum stretches and the white swirls, the pale silver edges and the frosted white ridges. I don't know how He can live with the incredible beauty He has created: it stuns and overwhelms me.
the tableau we see from the Little Mountain summit is so much greater than the words I can give it, so amazingly peaceful, so affirming.
I rode down and along the full length of the reservoir, soaking in the beauty and its nearness.
if I learn to carry that vision and the sense of being there with me as I walk through my life, I will surely have access, always, to an inner peace and joy.

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