Watching Sebago Thicken

The temperatures are frigid…..1.2 degrees this morning….there is no hope of wetting out our snow-covered local lakes… these times, our only hope is the freezing of larger lakes which were open water during the recent snowfalls….Sebago, that mysterious Indian maiden, cuddled in her own micro-climate, is a prime suspect…

I wish I lived on Sebago’s edge, at Nathan’s Beach, looking East into this morning’s bright sunrise.

I would walk….with my dog…i love fantasy!… down to the edge and compare the miracle I saw yesterday: smooth, thin, unblemished ice with darker patches of open water, with what i saw this morning. Then, I would swing my axe and see that the zero degree night had thickened the ice to 2.5 inches and that those open water patches had disappeared. My dog would prance and skitter awkwardly on the crystal margin, waiting for the go-ahead of my thrown stick.

Then, back at the ranch, I would look into the crystal ball of weather, and see another cold night ahead, and a day of moderate wind coming on Saturday…..and that love-fear relationship with new, thin ice would return…..could we be safe there tomorrow?…..could we avoid “thin ice ecstasy”?…..hmmmm

And, tomorrow, if i saw a mighty splash ahead, sailing at speed 200 yards behind Bill’s iceboat, as he blasted into too-thin ice…and i spun into the wind and dismounted on creaky, marginal ice….and i called out to him to claw, ice-breaking, in my direction….and as i watched him use up his marginal energy….would i–regretting the throw rope i never bought–claw, spread-eagled his way, pulled by friendship, willing to risk an older life to save a younger? would some righteous tape: some i-told-you-so, you bastard, after all these years, still no warm, wet-proof clothing; be running through my mind, complicating the need for clarity?

and how would this morning’s clearer dilemma fare, so far from shore… in the cold, in the wind, in the adrenalin of a real-life tomorrow?

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