March: On the Cusp!

Snowmobile and ski trails Lake Kashagawigamog, all quiet in the early light. Photo © Hildegard Lindschinger

Snowmobile and ski trails on Lake Kashagawigamog, all quiet in the early light. Photo © Hildegard Lindschinger

The first week of March – white and cold! We were staying in a second-floor condo in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands.  Lake Kashagawigamog and the white mounds of rolling hills undulating along the opposite shore stretched right across the width of our large picture window and beyond. Kashagawigamog– I love the sound of this aboriginal Anishinaabe name– aptly means “lake of long and winding waters.”

It truly was winter. The lake was frozen, snow-covered, criss-crossed with snowmobile trails. In spite of the unusually warm winter, there had been enough nights of nearly -40C in February to make that lake a solid ice chunk.

I spent the whole week in front of this window, doing my physiotherapy exercises and castor-oil treatments for sciatica (as per previous posts), relaxing, reading, drawing, and watching the light transform the scene as the sun arced from east to west.

The evening gray sky on the hills across the lake began shedding snowflakes. Gradually, the foggy grayness swelled, softened the silhouettes of trees rising above the hills, then moved forward across the white lake, absorbing it.

The tall slender pines and wide-branching maple tree on our shore looked stark black against the grayed-out lake. Snowflakes came thick, fast, close, and finally erased the whole scene.

The next morning, a fiery streak hovered above the eastern slopes and brushed the soft gray lake with pale pink, while bare icy patches glistened, bright rose and coral. Gradually, the deep azure sky grew lighter, and the snowy lake glistened white, pristine, almost too bright to look at.

Snowmobiles drew fresh deep tracks with purple shadows across the white expanse, as they trekked toward ice fishing huts arranged like little black Lego blocks down the lake.

Just outside my window, knobby crystal icicles, suspended in pairs and clusters from the eaves-troughs, reflected blue sky and sunlight in bright flashes.

Hours later, finishing its arc for the day, the sun poured pink across the lake from the west, behind us, then set the forests on the hills across the lake aglow in rusty red until they finally cooled to black.

On our last day here, a pristine sunny day, I was determined to walk (slowly, with a cane) toward the middle of the lake. Suddenly Hubby up ahead motioned silence, and pointed out a movement of black at the shore: an otter was enjoying rolling around in the snow!

During this week, a storm had dumped almost 20 centimetres of snow on our hometown some three and a half hours drive to the southwest of this idyll, but that had almost all melted by the time we returned. March had indeed come in like a lion. Will it go out like a lamb?

Shortly after arriving home, I pulled some muscles in my back; everything seized up, and I could not move. The excruciating pain was worse than the sciatica, but after a string of treatments, I’m now resting well with heat applications, and finally without painkillers if I’m careful. Now we’ve come to the Ides of March! But unlike the unfortunate Julius Caesar, I’m grateful the stabs in my back are healing.

Again, I’m stuck in front of a picture window! Now I’m enjoying the shifting light effects on our tree-lined street as the sun trails across the city sky. Is it spring yet? With the snow gone, snowdrops blooming, yet “possible flurries” threatened, tulips and crocuses are sticking their noses out, sniffing for clues: is it safe to come up?

Today’s sky was blue with puffy white clouds. In the afternoon, deep thunder rolled above our roofs, and in moments a torrent of rain chased everyone off the street. A few moments later, the trees outside my window were lit up, rosy, against the dark sky beyond. Half an hour later, another roll of thunder rumbled overhead; this time, glittering hailstones showered onto the earth.

Television action seems lame in the face of these diverse, dramatic action scenes on the “big screen” of my window, as winter edges to the cusp of spring!


8 thoughts on “March: On the Cusp!

  1. How wonderful to “see” through your eyes. Those scenes, described so beautifully, evoke lots of memories. I’m trying not to be homesick. I love the way the name of that lake rolls around in my mouth. What a delightful surprise to see an otter playing there. Dear Hildegard, so sorry to hear you are still having such issues with pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Audrey! I know what you mean about homesick – that northern landscape, even if only enjoyed on vacations, sticks profoundly. On the way home, I was recounting our trip to Wasaga Beach via Devil’s Glen years ago. Remember? 🙂 Not enjoying the pain, but till it all heals (a bit more patience) I get to sit around and look out the window. The room service (Hubby) in my living room lounge-chair campsite rates 5 stars! Thank God. Keep well, dear friend. 🙂


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