The water moved very slowly. As if the cold made its movement take more effort. Strained. Even painful. It’s dark shades like bruises on the surface. It’s occasional white caps, few and far between, a hint at the strength it would muster if it could only find the warmth.
I’ve not experienced winter on the lake. My winters were usually a tundra of desolation when I lived at my parents house. Surrounded by empty fields, the snow would drift endlessly like a white dessert. Isolation would settle into your bones and make itself at home along with the ache of cold. Your joints would protest each movement as you ventured out. Each return to the doorstep would come with the frozen burn of entering warmth followed by a quiet numbness as you rested. Breathing would eventually take less effort and heat entered you, but your core would take much longer to expel the chill.
It wasn’t until I moved closer to the lake that I experienced the beauty of such a different and unsettling natural phenomenon. The water was thicker. Not like slush and not frozen, but moved as if it were overwhelmed. Overtired and weary. Wanting desperately to crawl out of its self and clawing at the ice surrounding its edges. Keeping it from its chaotic and failed attempts to escape. The color of its surface so much darker than the warmer days of summer. It was like the water had a sickness. Like the cold of winter and sucked the life from it. As if it were on the brink of death. Starving and trapped in its place. Waiting for summer to feed it again.
In that moment, the lake and I shared a deep desire. To have our souls fed and to feel alive again.