I'm not sure which is greyer today - the lake or the sky. Either way, the first thaw of winter has begun. Last week the lake was a field of snow, except for the tracks that David & I made on our skis, some random snow angels and the trail of one brave (or psychotic) snowmobile - that ventured over the ice. Today it's a mass of puddles, water from above and below merging to reclaim the lake. The thaw has begun. The snow is receding from my deck, and the packed tundra that used to be on the drive outside our house has reduced to a single layer of ice with a veneer of water across the surface.
It's warm outside - in the thirties and forties for the first time in weeks. Birds are emerging from wherever they have been hiding their little red feathered heads and flitting about, tweeting. Yesterday the sun came out and it felt like rebirth. Today a warm wind makes even this grey day pleasant.
This morning I went across the street to the garage that is housing all the contents of my former home. Furniture, pots, pans, electronics, photographs, clothes that used to fit but don't anymore. My past is all packed up. I poked through the boxes, looking for random items. It's been so long since I've been through my "stuff" - I've been too busy scuttling about in the present, it seems.
People in Michigan assure me that the thaw is probably a temporary respite. At some point the temperature will drop again and the lake will freeze up for at least one more winter blast - and hopefully one more cross country ski trip along the shore of the lake. I don't know if I should hope that this is the end of winter - the groundhog has spoken and its over at last. Soon the ice huts will disappear, the docks will be rebuilt, the boats will be back on the lake and the excitement of almost-summer will be upon us. Or if I should look forward to one more deep freeze - one more silent glide along the pristine, frozen, snow-coated lake, with no one but David and the swans in sight. Letting go of the past is never easy - even when it's a cold one.