#23 Ice Lagoon

by Sacha Waldron

We had never walked so far out on the ice before. I had been watching the fishermen in their plastic sheeted huts from the dunes above. I would take pictures of them, “surveillance shots” I called them—capturing the little black dots far out on the snow-covered lagoon. The ice frightened me, I had only walked out a little way and every crunch, crackle, crepitate worried me.

We talked every day about walking to the fishermen. They set up camp about a kilometre out on the lagoon, sometimes driving to and from their spots on snow-mobiles. The season was nearing its end and soon the lagoon would thaw and the fish would stop clamouring for the oxygen provided by the fishing holes. It was now or never.

The day was particularly bright and white with no difference in colour between the land, lagoon or sky. Teenagers kite-boarded near the shore, graphics of sailing ships and salamanders whizzing through the air. I hesitated before stepping onto the ice. “The edge is the most dangerous”, Michelle told me. She took my arm and we began to walk. Carefully at first and then with more confidence. After 15 minutes we were almost upon them, passing bored holes that revealed black water below—tiny fish heads littered the snow. A man approached us, “Do you like whiskey?”, we nodded and he poured a measure into a yellow mug. We toasted ourselves, our bravery, our new friend, the fish-heads, the blank erased landscape.

4 comments:

Ian H. said...

This is a well captured moment, I love the conquering aspect here, especially that they are conquering something that is almost gone.

Sam Knight said...

I was a little confused at first, but then I felt like I was with them. You pulled me in nicely with your imagery.

Flutterby said...

Nicely written!

JRVogt said...

Good bit of written warmth in a chilly scene.