I am a city slicker, raised in the suburbs of Boston, accustomed to the clatter of MBTA trains roaring into the station. As a child, I imagined train headlights to be dragon eyes gleaming out of the black tunnels dug below city streets. Little did I know that another spooky subterranean world lurked in my future. That world exists under frozen layers of water on a nearby lake.
One early winter day I inched my way out onto the ice and listened. Deep, rumbling sounds arose from beneath my feet, like an ancient spirit awakening. Magical music ascended, making me think of a humpback whale swimming below. I shuddered and thought it prudent to head back onto shore. Instead, I stood my ground. The ice cracked and popped and boomed like thunder. An earthquake rippled beneath my feet. Winter winds blew off the mountains. Dark days lay ahead, filled with blizzards, and ice storms, bitter cold and slippery roads.
Now it is spring. Lake ice melts in shimmering puddles, harbinger of a great spring thaw. Green grass returns, miraculous in nature. I watch for early robins and that first purple crocus.
New England seasons remind me that life is fleeting, filled with transcendent moments in everyday life. I only must be silent and watch.