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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Evenings over the frozen lake

Soon after we relocated to Madison in summers, we paid a visit to lake Mendota that was surrounded by lush green flora that time. During our conversation to some residents there, we gathered that in winters this lake freezes and people walk, ski and do ice fishing on it. And then a wait to witness another version of this lake started. Few months later, after watching hues of fall, came winters. I was finally standing over the lake with no drenching and drowning in water, caught up in the merriment of the moment. Belonging from comparatively much hotter region on earth, skepticism of surviving the chills of winters like these, where even lakes freeze, was extremely high.

​View of lake in winters (above), view of lake back in summers from the same point (below)
I looked at some kids playing on one side of the lake with their parents. On another side my gaze followed a group of men, walking to the deepest points (deepest till 83 feet) without any fear or anxiety. I had heard stories about cracking of ice on solid waters, where sometimes people die of hypothermia. So, I instinctively maintained my proximity to the shores.

Post few weeks, our Italian friend, planned a trek to the lake. He took us to the backside of the same lake, which we had not explored yet. As we reached down to it, there was a stunning white floor all around. It was another view of the frozen lake, much more mesmerizing, much more exciting. We continued to walk ahead. I was extremely cautious and alert of the brittle floors in between. Somewhere I was scared that due to my weight floors may crack and I will drown in coldest waters I have ever known. Past some ten minutes of walking, we saw a truck standing in the middle of the lake and two men ice fishing. My heart sensed a warmer feeling with a sudden sense of safety. My body felt lighter. Talking to one of the men there, we found out that this year ice sealing the lake is thinner i.e. from twenty eight inches thickness of previous years to mere fourteen inches. 'Global warming', I sighed thinking.
​From left to right: Our shadows on the lake floor, my husband and our friend walking ahead,
I am standing beside a fishing hole, ice-fishing in action)

Walking over the icy lake was in my immediate bucket list, and I was happy that my wish had been fulfilled. While coming back we saw a splendid sunset leaving its gleam all over the ice. A feeling of gratification was filled in us for our friend. It was because of him we experienced this beautiful day. Soon as we stepped on to the earth from solid water, he teased me saying ‘you are finally safe’ and laughed aloud.

​Sun going down from the time we started our walk to the time we reached back to that point.
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