January 2000

I was in the P&C this morning picking up some flowers for Abbie to give to her boyfriend’s mother (“Just a small arrangement,” she specified in her note) and my young, blonde, tall cashier, according to her name tag, was Lisa. And just under name was a stick-on label from the bakery, which said, “Best When Toasted!”

From there, smiling, I went and walked on water. This is the second time, and I got a lot farther than the first. Perhaps it’s because of my strengthening resolve, and also that after another week of near zero temperatures, the ice is stronger too. Slush is not encouraging when you are walking on a lake. But today, even the slushy bits were frozen, and the sun was high, and the world from out there on the ice was dazzling. About 12 men were fishing, a dog frolicked, kids pulled sleds with fishing gear, and others were just out for a walk, as I was.

When the sun got too bright for my eyes, I turned around to walk back, and there was the Village. I could see the terraced backyards, porches and boathouses of all the houses up and down E. Genesee and West Lake, and the jetty looked like the bow of a ship sailing out to us. The ice is like a billiard table now. At least once, people have moved a building across it in the winter. Even with my jacket and boots on, I do not weigh as much as a house, and so I felt very secure. And thrilled to be there. I hope I never get bored with it.

January 20, 2003

Tonight, on the way home from work, I stopped to walk on water. It is the closest I ever get to doing what Jesus would do, although I would turn water into wine, given the chance. But I am happy to settle for walking on the lake when it is frozen over. It was growing dark as I crunched out onto the ice. A man and a woman were hauling their sled in, together, with all their ice-fishing gear. I said, “How thick is it?” And the man said, “Six, four… two, it’s different everywhere. Be careful out past the pier, because there are some thin spots.”

With that, I contented myself with my brief excursion, breathed deeply and turned and walked back through the Village, enjoying the wind and the frigid air, my down-filled outfit capped with the Chinese rabbit hat that Abbie and Ryan gave me two years ago, thanking the former occupants for the warmth, and coming home to scampi, and Laurie, and the mail.

I am the most fortunate of men.


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