As I opened the curtains to allow in the morning sun, I realized the date was Jan 21 – a month past the ‘southern solstice’ (I looked that up to be sure I’m using the correct term:). I had taken a picture of the sunrise a month ago, maybe I can take one each month to show the movement of the sun across the horizon throughout the year. I have lots of sunrise photos, but this will be a specific purpose. OK – so I step out onto the deck, and the frozen fibers crack, get my shot, and slip back into the warm house. More photos every few minutes.
Then: As the snow took on the red-pink-orange reflection under the bluing sky, the call of the lake came. In winter, the call of the lake comes in the form of wanting to get out and ski as the sun rises. In summer, the call comes in the form of kayaking.
Then I checked the thermometer. Zero degress. Darn. But look – there is no breeze. Certainly later in the day there will be winds. Now it is calm. Now is the time to go. This is the day I’ve been waiting for since the ice starts freezing enough to support one’s weight.
First I must locate my cross-country ski boots. In which basement tub did I place them last spring? Got ’em. Hurry, The sun is getting higher, The orange-pink-reddish glow on the snow has turned to white. Missed that moment. Doesn’t matter. Get out there anyway.
Ahhhh. The crisp swish swish of each stroke, push and pull of the ski and pole. Every year I have to work a little harder to keep my balance. Soon the rhythm sets in. The sun is warm on my face. The air is cold on my face and in my breath. Breath through my nose! Balance. Push. Pull. Slide. Breathe.
Push. Pull. Slide. Breathe……