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Cold and Bright on the Crookedshore

February 18, 2008

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It was an icy morning on the crookedshore, the sun cut sharply and painfully through a blue sky, but the sea remained unruffled. I was there with my son and Tobey, my dog. The only rule; the nine year old was in charge.

Here are some of the things I noticed as we followed his whims and interests..

-the plop of small stones piercing the thin ice and the panic of the white bubbles of air trapped beneath the surface
-perfect spheres of water, frozen, and stuck to the delicate green leaves of grass.
-the dog tag which had lost its owner…meg
-the triangle of stone we took home, that lifted away without regret from the rock.
-the momentary surprise on Tobey’s face when the surface of ice gave way and plunged him into the water.
-the tiny crystals of ice scattered liberally among the grains of sand in the palm of my hand.
-the sound of Tobey’s claws gripping the loose stones on the path as he (almost) rushed blindly past our hiding place.

My son searched out the frozen pools of water, eager to find stones to smash the ice. I preferred the effort of balancing the stones on the ice, to see how much weight one thin layer of frozen water could take before succumbing to the inevitable. I wondered about this. Was I less inclined to break the ice because I knew that such fragility is rare and not often repeated? It must be held on to. Whereas he, emboldened by the impetuosity of youth, believed unshakeably that such things are actually the stuff of life.

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