I cannot claim Lake Susan Park as a new destination. I have biked on its trails, read against its trees, studied its vegetation, and waded into its waters for several summers now. Occasionally I play tennis there, or stop by and watch a baseball game, my cheeks reddening in the sun. Always I am thankful that its 33-acres are close by, an open space that holds out its hands to the community.
Yesterday, a season later, I woke to fantastically blue skies--more true, I found, than those in summer--and a world that was frosted white. Hoar frost. The remaining goldenrod stalks stood frozen and glittering. The grove across the street resembled something out of a fantasy story, something with a name like Niffelvine or Ruumulus or Asgard. Everything seemed cast in a sleepy spell.
I went to Lake Susan with sleep still clinging to the corners of my eyes because I didn't want to miss the way the light was colliding with light. How long could something that beautiful last? How long, I wondered, can I walk about, over bridges, under the frozen arms of willow trees, up to the edges of iced-over water, marveling at a place that is still not summer? My cheeks grew rosy from the cold.