Then a great peace came over me & I seemed to hear the pines and the wind and the rocky shores say to me, 'You, lover of the wild, are part of us.' – Sigurd Olson
The Gift of The Wild
It’s Christmas morning and The Wild has left gift for me, wrapped in sparkling paper and tied with a silver bow: The ice curls have returned. These remarkable ice formations (also called frost flowers) occur when several days of rain are followed by a sharp drop in temperature. As the ground freezes, it contracts, pushing moisture to the surface through minute fractures in the soil. When the moisture contacts the bitter cold air, it freezes on contact and forms long ribbons of paper-thin ice. Often, ice curls form around the base of twigs or dead flower stems. The woody structure acts like a scaffolding, allowing the ice to form in the shape of flower buds and perfect bows.
The life span of these delicate sculptures is fleeting. The first touch of sunlight or the brush of a careless boot and they are gone. This is the way of things on planet Earth. The march of time goes on, but we don’t have to keep up with the frantic pace of the world. We can choose to walk more slowly, more deliberately, and with greater awareness as we pass through this mortal coil. Life is awash with miracles and wonder, but only for those who are willing to break ranks and lag behind.
Look to the sky, kneel to the Earth, breathe in the forest, and dance with the breeze. Revel in the moment, for it is all you have, but when you live in the presence of The Wild, what a moment it can be!