We had a big snowfall last week — an early blizzard, actually. And it appeared the snow was here to stay.
However, over the last couple of days the temps have soared — yesterday we reached plus 9. So, we’ve got all this melting snow causing the roads and streets to be quite treacherous to walk on.
Heather and I ventured out yesterday morning and again today. Yesterday was a trial; today was better.
As I walked home from her house down the crunchy, icy street in the dark it occurred to me that it wasn’t that the conditions were so much improved over yesterday as it was that I had got accustomed to walking on the ice and slippery snow. I had gotten my ice-legs back.
Ice-legs, I thought. Would that be like sea-legs? And, yes, I suppose it would be.
Here on our in-bound prairie ocean we have to learn a different way of walking come winter time. It gets forgotten in the halcyon days of summer and golden gleaming of fall, when we can walk with all confidence and sure-footedness of the flat-land creatures we are. But, let there come a deep snow-fall followed by a chinook to melt that snow and turn it into a rutted, frozen coating of slippery muck and soon enough we re-discover that unique way of walking that makes us look like drunken penguins.
It’s a head down, eyes scanning the surface before us, teeny tiny steps on stilted legs, arms held slightly out to our sides with backs either ram-rod straight or hunched over at the shoulders kind of stance. And this is how we make our way through winter. Shoulders drawn up against the cold, living in constant fear that your foot is going to betray you as you place it gingerly down, hoping, hoping, hoping that the ice has enough of a frosting of snow or grit to give your step purchase.
It’s a precarious way to tread through 5 months of a year, but, you get used to it.
Gotta love those ice-legs!