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Winter on the Lake

It's been years since I've seen your frozen state, cracked blocks of ice, whirling wisps of winter wonder skimming off from the top of you... blowing in from bone chilling arctic Canadian breezes. Skating over the majestic rink that is Lake Erie in the winter to touch my toes and my nose on the shoreline.

I am wishing that I could see that again after viewing the pictures across my computer screen. Sitting here in the drastic difference of a southern February, am I crazy that I long to see and feel you in the North Coast February air? Don't most people find ways to escape that sight and chill? Yet, occasionally I will find my mind drifting to that Lake Erie wonderland. To BE there would surely make me want to run inside and warm myself soon after my first winter walk, but I dream of it still.

Walking along that Lakeside pathway during the drastic difference of the winter Ohio months ... no mothers pushing babes in strollers, no lovers strolling hand in hand, no seniors sitting silently on lakeshore benches watching glorious sunsets or prayfully reading daily scriptures. No church group of teens singing songs with guitars along the windy side of you. It's a ghost town now, Lakeside in the winter.

Lake Erie so cold and frozen solid. Summertime cottages quiet and hibernating. Makeshift fences holding back snowdrifts, chimneys letting loose grey smoke into the frozen air, squirrels sniffing around desperately for any patch of ground that might hold a forgotten seed or two and climbing about the barren, ancient trees that hold nothing to feed them now. Their shade is a summertime memory. Now their branches bend and bow with the changing arctic blows. The winters here have made them strong. No card games on porches, no children riding bikes, no BBQ's steaming. Only the smell of fresh and frozen lake air and drenched and thawing earth as it begins to melt away and slide back into the great Lake in the coming months ahead.

Maybe I will get to revisit you, to tuck those pictures in my head along with my sweet summertime memories…of you, Lakeside on the great Lake Erie in the winter season this February.

Ginger Mathews Santulli
Lawrenceville, GA

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