The ice is in.
We watched it form all day long yesterday as a snow storm whirled, the stretch of open water slowly but steadily narrowing throughout the day. The otters were out having a Last-Day-Of-Open-Water party along the slushy edges and the swans trumpeted restlessly through the night, clustered to the creek outlet on the south end, instinctively knowing it would be the last spot to solidify.
Today, all was still and silent.
The swans are gone, probably to the river, and will likely not be seen here again until spring. The otters are hidden away somewhere in a cozy den. And so winter has placed its last seal on the landscape—and then in a brief, glorious five minutes before it set, the sun blazed out from behind a cloak of heavy clouds and kissed it with fire.
And there I was, standing on the shore, breathless with wonder that I was in the right place at the right time to see it.
“Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold. From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen.” (Job 37:9-10)