Thursday, December 28, 2006

End of Winter

To meet the family for Christmas I drove five hundred miles to south eastern Wisconsin and the town and home I grew up in. When I was a child we usually had a white Christmas, sledding, skating, a trip to the ski hill while school was out.

On Christmas Eve my older brother and I took a long walk through the town we grew up in. As we started down the hill to Lake Michigan a flock of geese flew over head. I said, “remember when we were young and geese would fly south for the winter.” And so it began. We walked the trail along the lake shore, the grass was green, the sky blue, the temperature was closing on fifty degrees. We turned away from the lake and up another hill to a large park. There was no warming house in the park. We tried to remember where the skating rink once sat but could not even find a depression in the green grass where we once learned how to balance on blades.

In my mid-twenties I moved to far northern Minnesota. I made the decision to live in the midst of the lakes and forest I paddled through each summer. Though it was the desire to canoe that brought me here, it was the winter and the cross country skiing through the same lakes and forest that has kept me here and whole.

It is the twenty eighth day of December. The lakes are frozen. There is one or two inches of snow on the ground. I have yet to ski this year. I haven’t even bothered to prep my skis.

No comments: