Assignment: walk to the edge of the known world. Walk where no man (or woman) has ever walked before. At least not this year! Walk to…the edge of the ice.
You can do it. Here’s what you need to do. Find a beach in a northern cold climate. Find a beach with ice thick enough to walk to the edge. Gauge depth carefully, especially if you’re ice-chicken, like I am. Tentatively place your feet on the ice and determine whether you’re safe.
If you’re safe, continue to toward the edge. (I only had to walk about twenty feet to the Edge of the World. And the ice was thicker than thick.)
Whoops, I forgot to tell you how slippery the edges of the Known World can be. Try to keep your balance. Step carefully. Ice with snow on top can look deceptively crusty. It often isn’t. Step more carefully. I don’t want you to fall.
Here you are, at the Edge. Admire the horizon, the lake stretching off to the west and north. Admire the way ice forms, all the icebergs rubbing against each other. Admire the wave action (if it’s a windy day). If it’s a calm day, grin in glee. The lake always feels so peaceful on calm days.
Smile at how exhilarated you feel out here. Even though it’s 11 degrees, it feels warm. Why does this happen? You’re sure 11 degrees will feel freezing. But when you’re out here, warmly dressed, it feels like 25 degrees. Maybe it warmed up since you left home. You never know.
Look closely at the above photo. Look at the circles of thin ice. One of these days those translucent circles will form into solid ‘bergs. Maybe even this week. And the ice will continue to form out in the bay, farther and farther from shore. One of these days ice fishermen will put their teepee tents or shacks out here and cast a line down into the depths. The Known World expands a little further…
I find ice fascinating, don’t you? The way it forms and dissolves. Its fleeting nature. The way it appears so solid, but melts away when the temperatures rise.
Out here on the Edge, you feel like you are witnessing formations never before seen. Icebergs on the edge of transformation. A white icy world building and elongating on the crest of waves and wind and snow and water.
Thank you for your bravery. For walking safely on ice. For witnessing a Magical Mystery Ice Tour. For not slipping and falling. Out here on the Edge of the Known World anything can happen…can’t it?