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Time Out: Between the woods and frozen lake, the darkest evening of the year. . .

This is the one way and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.
Burnt Norton

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  • Aggie March 28, 2022, 8:38 AM

    Two inches is more than plenty of ice for skating. But I notice he’s prudent about carrying his two poles, just in case.

  • Terry March 28, 2022, 9:08 AM

    Friends and I used to cross-country ski on a frozen lake after about four inches of snow fell on the ice. Makes a perfectly flat skating rink for skiing using the skaters stride. No poles used, just tucked under your arms for safety.

    The lake was around sixty acres in area. Absolutely one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had. Once you get into a rhythm you can skate on skis for hours and get a high without drug use. Exhilarating.

  • Dirk March 28, 2022, 9:11 AM

    Bitchen! We also cross country on Lake Of The Woods, mid winter. 2 inch’s is a lot of ice.

  • LP March 28, 2022, 11:59 AM

    Our lake makes sounds like that sometimes, but lower pitched, it sounds like whales moaning under the water.

  • TANSTAFL March 29, 2022, 3:58 PM

    Ghost Lake’s a dark lake, a deep lake and cold:
    Ice black as ebony, frostily scrolled;
    Far in its shadows a faint sound whirs;
    Steep stand the sentineled deep, dark firs.

    A brisk sound, a swift sound, a ring-tinkle-ring;
    Flit-flit,–a shadow with a stoop and a swing,
    Flies from the shadow through the crackling cold.
    Ghost Lake’s a deep lake, a dark lake and old!

    Leaning and leaning with a stride and a stride,
    hands locked behind him, scarf blowing wide,
    Jeremy Randall skates, skates late,
    Star for a candle, moon for a mate.

    Black is the clear glass now that he glides,
    Crisp is the whisper of long lean strides,
    Swift is his swaying–but pricked ears hark.
    None comes to Ghost lake late after dark!

    Cecily only–yes it is she!
    Stealing to Ghost Lake, tree after tree,
    Kneeling in snow by the still lake side,
    Rising with feet winged, gleaming, to glide.

    Dust of the ice swirls. Here is his hand.
    Brilliant his eyes burn. Now, as was planned,
    Arm across arm twined, laced to his side,
    Out on the dark lake lightly they glide.

    Dance of the dim moon, a rhythmical reel,
    A swaying, a swift tune–skurr of the steel;
    Moon for a candle, maid for a mate,
    Jeremy Randall skates, skates late.

    Black as if lacquered the wide lake lies;
    Breath as a frost-fume, eyes seek eyes;
    Souls are a sword edge tasting the cold.
    Ghost Lake’s a deep lake, a dark lake and old!

    Far in the shadows hear faintly begin
    Like a string pluck-plucked of a violin,
    Muffled in mist on the lake’s far bound,
    Swifter and swifter, a low singing sound!

    Far in the shadows and faint on the verge
    Of blue cloudy moonlight, see it emerge,
    Flit-flit,–a phantom, with a stoop and a swing . . .
    Ah, it’s a night bird burdened of wing!

    Pressed close to Jeremy, laced to his side,
    Cecily Culver, dizzy you glide.
    Jeremy Randall sweepingly veers
    Out on the dark ice far from the piers.

    “Jeremy!” “Sweetheart?” “What do you fear?”
    “Nothing my darling,–nothing is here!”
    “Jeremy!” “Sweetheart?” “What do you flee?”
    “Something–I know not; something I see!”

    Swayed to a swift stride, brisker of pace,
    Leaning and leaning, they race and they race;
    Ever that whirring, that crisp sound thin
    Like a string pluck-plucked of a violin;

    Ever that swifter and low singing sound
    Sweeping behind them, winding them round;
    Gasp of their breath now that chill flakes fret;
    Ice black as ebony–blacker–like jet!

    Ice shooting fangs forth–sudden–like spears;
    Crackling of lightning–a roar in their ears!
    Shadowy, a phantom swerves off its prey . . .
    No, it’s a night bird flit-flits away!

    Low-winging moth-owl, home to your sleep!
    Ghost Lake’s a still lake, a cold lake and deep.
    Faint in its shadows a far sound whirs.
    Black stand the ranks of its sentineled firs.

    By William Rose Benet

    • Vanderleun March 29, 2022, 6:06 PM

      Amazing. Just amazing. Thanks≥