Monday, January 11, 2010


Lying on the ground now for nearly a month, the snow starts to recrystallise through cold, clear nights. In the morning, giant sparkling facets have formed that glitter in the sunlight. Water and ice congeal and are smooth like new skin.

Skating on the lake, every inch of the surface is criss-crossed by the skaters boots like a giant web. The deep black ice shows its shining fractures and sometimes cracks into life with an unearthly echoing boom.

My daughter spins on her skates. "Look" she says, "I've made an eye."

The eye looks up into the cloudless blue sky that is the colour of glacier ice or meltwater. There are hundreds or even thousands of people on the lake. Their hard steel blades flash past. And the eye cannot blink.

On the edge of the frozen expanse, the people light fires and boil kettles for coffee. Steam and warm breath drift together against the frosted trees.

I take my daughter's hand, palpably somewhere between steam and ice.

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