The textures and colors on the shore are breathtaking. The harsh cascades of ice off the rusty cliffs, the contrast of the soft and solid ice, the pools of water melting from the brief sunlight, the sound of an underground river running...
Of course, we have adventures: I brave the icy waters below and try to edge my way along the shoreline to the caves that I've never been able to see. Sliding each foot forward tentatively, one finally pushes through the mushy top layer. I almost put weight on it, thinking it's just surface melt. But Lake Superior is unforgiving always, and deadly in winter, so I push with my toe once more, and my boot goes down into the icy water. I keep my balance, pick the slab of ice out of the hole, and look clear through to the bottom 15 feet below. Every pebble is visible in still relief through the viscous water, clear as glass but with that wintery blue hue that bathes the world up here.
We pick rocks, dig through to the underground river, slide and skip stones across the glassy ice in the cove. Facts and ideas and things to teach keep leaping to my tongue, but the hollowly silent air by the waveless expanse swallows up my intellect and we are all just awe and contentment and bliss.
Little fingers are red with cold and cheeks have angry splotches, but we press on into the twilight after sunset, skating with our boots on a small natural ice rink, eating snow, sliding on our butts down embankments and boulders covered in inches of ice.
Recharged, refreshed, rested, we drive away on a sunny Thursday with the lake sparkling like an vast field of diamonds. There are no words for the joy of seeing a once-in-a-lifetime natural event like the ice over on the big Lake this year. There are days you barely scrape your way through to bedtime and wonder how you made it, and then there are days you know you will never forget: days like these last stolen few on the wild, boundless beauty of our favorite shores.
|"shine bright like a diamond"|