Monday, November 22, 2010
Hard Water Skiing
The moon shone full and bright while the ice fog rolled onto the far shore. The fog rolling out like a parting curtain revealing the conductor centered in the stage overlooking the orchestra.
The snow was thin this year, thin snow and thick ice, a reverse of most places. The thin snow gave little drag to the ski that slid across the surface and each kick resulted in a long, effortless glide in the still hard air. Swish and pause and swish and pause. A metronome keeping time of an almost effortless velocity.
The miles glide by in the cooling air. The skier alone on the hard water lake, silent except for the pops and groans of the contracting ice. Pops and booms that sound like muffled artillery under the snow and reverberate under his feet, the hard water lake like a tympani drum as the temperature drops and the ice expands.
The coyotes join the symphony. The sound of auroral silence, the rhythmic swish of skis, the boom and pop of muffled ice now united with a choral arrangement of howls and yips from the distant song dogs. Singing songs of hunger or success, celebration or loneliness.
Their song's secret hidden in the dark spruce forest as the skier heads for home.