English: By Needham Lake in the snow A cold wi...
English: By Needham Lake in the snow A cold winter morning view of the lake from the nearest carpark to Needham Market itself. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love to walk down to the guard rail over the lake and look out over the water slowly moving and waving, taking the city skyline and modifying it to be wholly different yet still recognizable. It’s always a beautiful sight, but it’s even better, now, in the dead of winter after a strong snow. The cold doesn’t freeze the lake, but it makes the water sluggish, reflecting everything with a greater degree of clarity.

The trees surrounding the area are dead and covered with snow, the white of the snow making bony fingers in the sky tracing the outlines of the branches. This early in the morning, the snow on the ground is completely untouched, making a perfect flat plane of space across the streets, covering with smooth gradients the difference between the curb and the road below. The early-morning moon hangs low in the sky, at the bottom of the top third of my field of vision and finishes the almost-monochromatic scene (a plane with its flashing red lights spoils the tableau).

On mornings like this, I can just stand here and look forever; I don’t have to worry about being interrupted, since the low temperature keeps everyone inside. Of course, if it weren’t for the low temperature, I could stay out here longer myself, but at least I’ve got a heavy overcoat, leather gloves and hat to keep me warm enough for a while.

The emptiness of everything makes a truly spectacular quiet, oddly enough, added to by the soft engine rumble coming from the cars going across the floating bridge. They’re just far enough away for their comforting sound to be audible. The cars are best in both winter and summer; summer when late at night, while I try to sleep with the window open to let some of the cool air in listening to the white noise wash over me and lull me to sleep.

I try to think of nothing in particular, just taking in the beauty of the still lake and leafless trees and the moon in the dark night right before the sun comes up. I can spend about 15 minutes before the cold starts to get to me, and I have to go in. I slowly begin to walk home, and by the time I reach my door, the sunrise has begun. In most instances, this is the prettiest part of the day, but today it’s rather sad. Not only does it mean that the snow will start to melt, but it will also no longer stand out strikingly against the black night. The dark water slowly turning to slate gray mirroring the sky. I’m able to watch this all from my upstairs window, where it’s much warmer. But I prefer the dark and the cold, and wish I could go back to that time. It’s moments like that I wish could last forever.

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