On Friday I went snowshoeing for the first time… and in the course of it, walked on a lake for the first time too. My friend helped me get into my snowshoes and fit them to my boots, and off we went through her yard and her neighbors yard before heading down to the frozen water. Gibbs followed in our steps so he did not sink into the deep snow and disappear, and soon we were walking on the lake where I have (in warmer months!!) swum, kayaked, boated and played on and in for several years now. And it was kind of a surreal experience.
Lake Washington is a large lake, about 2 by 3 miles and ringed by homes and trees. It is a place that has become a retreat for me, at least in the summer months, and a place where God has revealed new truths to me. It was here I got the invitation to move to Minnesota, and is one of those thin places for my life.
So on Friday, I went with some trepidation. I had never been there in the winter before…. Would my car make it down the driveway? Would Gibbs drown in the snow? Would I trip over myself snowshoeing? Would I break my neck as we scrambled down the bank? But as we made our way and found our rhythm with relative ease, I was struck by how much life this lake has supported over her existence, even though, at this time of year, she is frozen and still. Yet, how many bodies, human and animal and plant, have been blessed and kept alive by her refreshment, how many prayers have been prayed on her banks and in her waters, and how much beauty she holds, no matter what season she is in.
It also brought to mind a poem that I used when teaching fourth grade that went something like this:
Fire and ice
Ice and fire
These are the elements that do sire
And grow creation from the crack
That grows from dawn to dusk and back.
Walking on that lake it was good to remember that creation is, indeed, at work. While everything is frozen and covered in a thick layer of snow and ice, creation is growing and preparing and pregnant with new life waiting for the time of rebirth. The ice covers the fish and plant life hibernating beneath. The trees have drawn deep inside to allow the buds to form, just readying for the sap to start rising.
Reflecting on this, I wonder what is waiting for renewal in my life. What is readying itself to spring forth? And I invite you to reflect on this for yourself as winter continues!