Who else could enjoy the snow and cold more than kids, whose joints don’t ache or who don’t put their backs out shoveling, and have to shell out for a set of snow tires? A kid’s biggest concern is whether or not all that snow that fell through the night is the good “packing” kind (a bit wetter) for snowballs, snowmen and possibly even snow forts, or if it’s the dry fluffy kind that’s better for snow angels and sledding. And what about the ice – has it been cold enough yet?
I remember Detroit winters when I was a kid. We always had plenty of snow, and the backyard was the major focal point of my after-school fun. On weekends when I was a little older, my girlfriends and I would go to the park. In those days the City would go to a park in each neighborhood and flood a special area into a no-frills rink. There were unposted unofficial “rules” about sharing the ice between the really little kids and the twirly girls on their figure skates, and the speedy, rough and tumble boys on hockey skates. There were always some verbal threats about “telling” if someone didn’t want to abide by these mysterious and ever-shifting rules, but we all managed somehow. I remember the winter I finally accomplished (if not mastered) the art of skating backwards…right into an unfrozen pothole near the edge of the rink, and sank one entire foot into the icy water. So for me it was glide/slosh glide/slosh until we all decided it was time for hot chocolate at somebody’s house. Stinging toes and clown-red cheeks, sniffly noses, and wool scarves frosted to our chins from our breath. What could be better!
The top photo is of the Leamington marina a few weeks ago. The deeper lake ice wasn’t safe yet, but close to shore some kids were learning their hockey skills, and a few guys were ice fishing between the boat slips (with the summer ferry to Sandusky, Ohio docked in the background). The bottom photo is of a house on my road. They worked into the night last night with a bobcat and some railroad ties. It’s not all that large – no kid with a hockey stick is going to get much of a breakaway, but that’s not important. When the kids get older, they’ll remember when they used to go skating on the marina, and the winter their dad make a rink by the side of the house.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.