Silver-finned lake trout glide deep below the surface of Lake Superior, ice already submerging their midnight dreams. On the rocky bottoms they move silently in almost total darkness. Their eyes dream shadows. They swim to a different drummer, an underwater rhythm, a song of gills and scales and minnow-dreams.
At the surface, another dream froths the waves. Biting wind and plummeting temperatures penetrate the water. The water slows; sluggish near its edges. As it slows ice crystals form, a million crystals metamorphosing to slushy ice. The surface of the bay dreams of ice as it sleeps, a blanket of ice, a cocoon of ice to insulate the deep-swimming trout.
Near the icy bay a tree dreams of sunlight. It yearns for sunlight down in its frozen roots. The roots reach deep into the ice of the lake. Bare bones of limbs etch against a gray January horizon, motionless. The world holds its icy breath as winter settles onto the landscape enfolding trout, waves, tree.
The sun breaks through the dream of the clouds, illuminates the dream of the tree, dances on the icy waves of the lake and sends shadows of its rays into the eye of the silver trout.
Later this winter you may eat this trout with fork and knife, salt and pepper. Along with the fish you eat dreams of rocks, waves, ice, tree and sunlight.
Who untangles this dreaming web we all weave? Who dares separate it into a single strand? We are ice, bitter wind, crystals, branches, photographs, readers, writers, dancers of dreams and eaters of fish. Are we not?