Nature keeps surprising us in ways we couldn’t even imagine and we learn, adapt, and find joy in numerous ways. Minus twenty degrees Celsius made the lakes sing and roar until they froze into silence, creating a new way to explore the space that surrounds us.
After some careful steps onto the ice of the lake behind our home and equally careful testing the spark (kicksled), we found out that some villagers plowed tracks on the big lake in town. As if it wasn’t hard enough for us to believe that we could now stand on the exact same spot as where we went swimming in summer, we would also be able to walk the same way that we went for our midsommar paddle in June.
Not knowing what the effect would be, what the tracks would look like, and without experience, I decided to take the spark to the big lake. Feeling a bit like a 3-year old that absolutely wants to take his bike- but the dad probably ending up carrying the vehicle most of the time. But no! This track was unlike anything I imagined, the spark was sliding and Lizzie loved to run in front of it. Both Lizzie and I felt the strong desire to go faster, further, more. But then we had to wait for the others.
So the next day I went back. The lake was deserted but the sun was out and it was minus seven degrees. A frosty wind bit my cheeks and tried to get my plan to cross the entire lake out of my head. I didn’t hesitate, hoping that some movement would get me the needed heat. I kicked the sled, the dogs started running, we slid toward the open space of the frozen lake, toward the track that would lead us all the way to the center of our town. Crossing the entire lake on an icy track.
For an average Swede used to actual winters, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I feel like I just set foot on the moon! Years ago, the idea alone would terrify me (as it would to most people from places where ice is usually too thin to hold a person), and now I’m doing a trip with just my dogs, kicking the ice with my boots, breathing in the sharp cold air, hearing the metal of the spark cutting the surface, and experiencing a new kind of freedom. I wish I could find the words to do it justice, but perhaps you just have to try it for yourself 🙂