November 25, 2020
Embers from the Fire
A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad-Parish Community
Stiff Water – 11/26/2020
It had been chilly on my morning walk for a couple of weeks but this day was different. No doubt about it; it was past chilly – the first cold morning of the season. I found out just how cold it was as I approached the retention pond that I walk past on my route. I was approaching the pond from the south when I saw a little bundle of mallards tearing full throttle in from the north. It is common to see mallards on the pond, so it was no surprise.
But was surprising was that as they came spraddling in for a landing they suddenly veered off and reclaimed altitude as they banked east. They didn’t circle around; it was obvious that they had decided to head elsewhere. Why became clear as I came up to the pond. The surface was not just calm as it usually is in the morning stillness, but it was stiff. The pond was iced over. The sight of it made the morning even colder.
Of course, the pond didn’t stay frozen over – not this time; not just yet. When I passed the pond again in the early afternoon the temperature had climbed enough that the thin layer of ice had melted away. Little ripples danced with the afternoon breeze. A small bunch a geese huddled against the far shore. They had accepted the invitation from the re-opened water.
That pond is a good metaphor for the heart. When it is open, the surface sparkles with sunshine. It can receive whatever the sky may offer, whether that be mallard or goose or raindrops, or even the sky’s own image reflected back up again. When it freezes stiff and solid, as it will some night soon, it will no longer be able to receive; it will no longer reflect the sky; it will just be able to retain whatever is already within. Life will withdraw as the weeds die back with the reduced sunlight. The frogs dig into the mud – dormant. The long wait will begin.