On weeks like these, ice is easy to imagine. For most of January, so far, the temperature has hovered in the -20s with a wind chill up to the -40s Celsius. I should be use to this.
In December, just before Christmas, I walked home after dark. It was a crisp and clear night with nary a wind. The snow sparkled under the street lights. However, January’s cold is not the sort of cold one wants to be outside in.
I’ve lived here all my life. The cold is familiar. Sometimes the cold is a friend. In Summer, the wind would be an ally blowing away the mugginess of the day. But the wind is no ally today as I sit inside with cold toes. I really should go and put on some socks. All the cat and I want to do is curl up with a blanket and a book.
The only ice we wish to see are ice cubes sparkling in our mixed drinks.
The ice is a mirror. The mirror is ice. I am ice. What is reflected within?
On weeks like these, all I want to drink is water. Ice cold water. I come in from outside and down two six ounce glasses. I sit and read with a glass of water by my side. The cat sit and stares at her water tower yearning for it to blurp. I really should buy her a lava lamp to stare at. I don’t know why this activity fascinates her, I’m just tired of constantly mopping up the floor as she tries to make the blurp and in the process spills water all over the place. I wish she could talk and explain herself.
I have a love/hate relationship with large bodies of water. I find floating on lakes relaxing as long as I am all alone. I never will be a fan of ice fishing though the winter we were young teens my brother and I walked a mile across the frozen lake listening to the groans and creeks anticipating the fear of falling in. We were lucky not to fall in and got major heck when we got back home to the grandparents. News travels faster than teenagers in a small town.
This was the lake in my mother’s parents village. My grandfather ice fished there. It was where we took our swimming lessons for the first time. I was seven and had to be dragged in, kicking and screaming, because I was determined not to go into that noisy body of water.
This was when I feared lakes. I feared lakes because I almost drowned when I was three. I don’t remember almost drowning. This is how the story was told to me. My mom and her friend were on the beach and me and her friend’s son, both of us about three years old, found a raft to explore and nobody noticed us until we were floating in the lake. I’m sure there was panic; my mother is a panic-er. We survived (obviously) but I came away with a fear of lakes and a bad dream.
I have this dream every time I am extremely stressed. I dream of being on a raft (alone) surrounded by water. I am floating through my home town which is flooded. I don’t feel afraid. Mostly, I feel eerily calm. I have not had this dream in a very long time. I was much more stressed in High School than I am now.
I have made my peace with large bodies of water. I float in lakes, take long cruises on oceans and fly over the seas acting mostly calm.
But in my mind large bodies of water are dark and maleficent. What is hidden beneath the calm? What is reflected there?
On weeks like these, I miss the steam we use to create as skin touched skin. He was a water sign (Scorpio) and I am a fire sign (Aries). Water signs tend to bare their souls and enjoy the chance to walk fire. Fire signs are impulsive and prone to boldly charge in.
We steamed up my small university basement apartment whether or not we were stormed in. One memorable weekend the drifts covered the door and we didn’t care. We had shelter. We had food. We had each other.
There was plenty of steam as Fire and Water embraced. Eventually, the fire was doused and the water evaporated away to nothing.
What was hidden in the steam? What was reflected there?
On weeks like these, who you are may change or take on different forms.
Are you solid, liquid or gas?
Are you ice, water or steam?