Thursday, March 18, 2010

The helmsman steered us through

The lake is breathing.

This morning, instead of a patch of moving water way out in the middle, there is a huge swath of moving water. I guess the ice melted some time yesterday while I was at work. I'm sorry if I missed the dramatic sound of breaking. But I think our ice has been thinned so much by the sun that it probably just eventually went out altogether like the flame of a candle after its blown out, as Alice had it.

Anyway, not all the lake is uncovered and moving. Lots of it still has ice, with small holes and thin places. It rises and falls like the chest of a sleeping person and the movement of the water makes a sound like breathing.

I've been slammed by teaching lately...just one thing after another. It gets like that sometimes, especially in the spring. So I feel for the lake, which isn't holding together as it was, which is changing form to meet the season, which is uncomfortably in the middle of things, with dead fish and lost tools and plastic bottles rising up to the top where everyone can see them. Nobody would call our lake beautiful right now, but nobody is here to call it anything.

The summer people will be here in a few months, and the lake will be bright shining. It will be glimmering and cheerful under the clean white boats. People will get married under the gazebo with the lake making its little wave sounds behind them.

But for now, it's dirty and full of holes, breaking itself up in the sun. It's fine to me. I like to know it so intimately. I like to be like it. I like to think of us both free in the summer and solid in the winter, surviving these middle parts in our privacy together.

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