I sit here, basking in the peace of the morning light streaming through our front window. I can tell it’s been a bitterly cold night by the frost that clings to the panes of glass and covers the ground outside. The snow has melted off the lawn but yet, it still looks deeply frozen.
The evidence of our current cold snap was made most clear by my little town making news recently. In our continued string of strange and stranger weather, the Connecticut River which flows only but a mile from here, had frozen and jammed up just above our historic Swing Bridge. It was a wonder to witness up close. I could not help but feel I had been transported to the Artic as I watched, and more importantly listened, to the growing ice crunch, grind, and overtake the banks of the river. The specucular build up occurred because this ice flow could not make it past the bridge. To the south of it, the water flowed as normal. But just on the other side, well, people were attempting to walk across it from one side to the other. Not a great idea.
I had visions of setting Artic themed stuffed animals on those blue tinged and sharp edged monoliths of frozen water; penguins, polar bears, artic fox, wolf. I figured why not have some fun with the anomaly.
It really was miraculous to see, enough so that the news crews were out there and the crowds followed. For a few weeks, little East Haddam had become gawker central. And who could blame us. I wondered if the other onlookers were thinking the same thing. If our life journies never got to the Artic region, that might be alright. It appeared it had come to us.
A few days ago, though, I kept getting alerts that the Bridge was closed, and to take other routes if travelling. Coast Gaurd was here to break it up and make it all better. I witnessed their handywork as I drove into work. The ice was no longer one mass sheet, but thousands of little glaciers floating now past the Bridge and out to sea.
I felt a melocholy come over me as I watched them go down river. It pulled at something primal in me. Then I felt angry. I could see my imaginary stuffed artic friends floating on top of them, adrift, alone and headed nowhere. Painfully, I figured this is what it’s like in the real Artic. As the ice sheets melt off at rapid rates and the local wildlife struggles to find ground.
Our little mircrocosm was no different after the boats came and cup up the ice mass.
Seems to me, nature would have righted itself and the ice would have melted off eventually. Sure, it was doing some river bank damage along the way, but that is the price for sharing space on this planet with elemental forces. Humans are industrious, we like to build and rebuild. We would have tended to the broken as soon as the water was released from it’s frozen state.
Just let the damned ice have its way for awhile and give us something to marvel at. Let it remind us we are not masters of this planet. Let my stuffed Artic menagerie have somewhere to hang out!
While others were seeing a engineering problem, I was seeing pure raw energetic beauty. As I gazed on that ice, I was given a physical symbol of my own winter hybernation and my need to stop, freeze, pause and gather my thoughts before the melt off comes, and the flowing energy of Spring returns.
As I finish up this writing, the sun has moved higher outside the window. Water droplets are glistening now, where only an hour ago frozen crystals were.
Nature’s got this. It always has. It always will. Let it be.