Two more winter paragraphs

Pleasant Lake, MN

On other March mornings, in softer winters, the wind did not howl and the crystalline flakes rested even on the ground. The lake would still freeze over, but no dunes of blown snow would collect upon its glassy ceiling. Instead, it shone. Wide pools of sunlight gathered on the ice during clear dawns and stayed, only changing gently in color and shape. On those mornings we shaded our eyes in the early glow and never shivered.

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I walked up the driveway, into the snow, and up to the lake’s edge. The sun behind was warm on the back of my neck. The hum I had been hearing came from the ice itself. When the air warms at the end of winter, the frozen water shifts and makes a round, low sound, gradually swelling and increasing into spring. Hundred-foot cracks appear in an instant, shooting out across the whitened blue. As it thins, the ageless, clear water below reappears. The ground on which you stand is not at all firm and will not last, but light rushes from all sides to meet you.