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ice and memories

After doing some pruning yesterday in the undiscovered country, so as to be able to walk there without being attacked by rosa multiflora, today I didn't even walk there--instead I went down along the trail toward the Abandoned Town, then walked along the road past the farm and stretched my eyes on the long views there. One of my favorite views, the hills like cresting waves on the horizon.

Anyway, on the trail there was that place that's always flooded, and today, the water was smooth,fresh, dark ice, clear as clear, so you could see down to the mud and oak leaves, about six inches below. On the surface of the ice was the same scattering of frost that was on the car windshield. The ice was SO clear and SO fine-seeming, that I didn't know how strong or solid it was, but it was strong enough to hold me, so I slid across it. SO MUCH FUN.

Which made me remember, so clearly, ice skating on the creeks near our house when I was a kid. As I recall, we mainly put on our ice skates at the house, then walked along the snow and frozen stuff on the road to the Shafers' house, then walked down their hill (maybe this was before the Steadmans' house was built?) to the Verstandigs creek.I remember doing this mainly with Gabriella. Did I do it with Gino? Can't recall at all. Nor if I went there with friends.

This also makes me think about all the kinds of ice--the smooth fresh black kind, the opaque white kind, the thin white kind that forms above just air and everyone wants to smash, the opaque white kind with other colors mixed in, mainly brown or green. The opaque white or white-with-other-colors-mixed in was most reliably strong, but if the clear black kind was strong, it was the smoothest and so the most fun to slide and skate on.

Other thoughts on my walk: I saw the number 64 on a telephone pole. I believe it was originally two metal numbers, a 6 and a 4. Now they are so rusted that it looks more as if someone painted 64 on the pole, not with glitter paint, but with rust paint. I wonder what the number means. Was the pole put up in 1964? Was it the 64th pole? Was it made in telephone pole plant number 64, or by worker number 64? A minor mystery.

Then the old giant unidentifiable-by-me tractor attachment sitting out like art at the farm is also completely rust covered. So, from rust to rust, it got me thinking about sic transit gloria mundi, and about things changing and disappearing. To hold that thought in your head with equanimity takes a lot of psychic and spiritual balancing.



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