The snow gives way to the cold. The backyard which has been home to a sled run through the trees down to the pond, now has other allures.
The stream has frozen almost solid. Solid enough to walk on. Solid enough to skate on--if you have skates. If you don't have skates, a sturdy pair of boots does almost as well. Slipping and sliding, pretending to turn and spin, bypassing pine cones and leaves frozen to the surface.
The ice downstream of the springs is clear, glass-clear. So clear that she can see the water flowing underneath, see the detritus being pushed by invisible forces. Her son even saw a tadpole swimming under the ice a few days ago. How can that be? she wonders. It's six degrees out.
The ice upstream is cloudy, filled with tiny bubbles. Though it lacks the clarity of its cousin downstream, it is flat. Flat and perfect for sliding.
Back and forth they go, up and down, wary of the few areas where the ice is cracked and bubbled. Grabbing at trees to stay upright.
Pretending. Lost in the magic of an icy winter afternoon.