It seems a strange scene. I stand in my bare feet and swim suit, peering out into the darkness at 6:15am. The outside floodlights are on, and they illuminate a world blanketed in white. I expected the snow. In fact, it’s the reason for my one-piece lycra apparel. Assuming it would be too deep for running, I had decided on an alternate workout this morning. But I hadn’t counted on the landscape now in my field of vision.
Every branch is outlined in white. The thin boughs are magnified by a fluffy coating of snow much thicker than their own sinewy skeletons. The woods surrounding our house are no longer a transparent winter veil but a lacy wall enclosing our abode. I can already picture the Lakewalk rimmed by more ghostly shapes. It is much too good to miss.
Despite the dim predawn light, many have preceded me down the trail. Footsteps are plentiful, crisscrossed by bicycle tracks and the wide treads of fat tire bikes. The snow is not as deep as I feared, but the wet fluff lies over a layer of slush. Messy but not slippery, it makes for slow and arduous progress but poses little danger of falling.
The world is silenced by the snowfall. Footfalls and tire rotations are muted, but faces are glowing. “Isn’t this beautiful?” seems to be on the lips of all I pass.
I don’t normally take the small bypass in front of the town homes at The Ledges. But the chance to get closer to the lake draws me down the indistinct path. My impulse is rewarded, seeing the dry stalks of fall flocked with snow silhouetted against the gray-blue of Lake Superior, and framing the iconic Aerial Bridge.
While just yesterday the Lakewalk was perfectly clear for easy running, I have no complaints about this resurgence of winter. It taught me to seize the moment, change my plans, stop and take pictures. And best of all, enjoy my surroundings.