Finding a Secret Winter Skating Pond

My friend and I walk in the woods and then along a trail by farmland. As we journey onward, we see something sparkling and nearly hidden by trees and brush. We approach to find an almost frozen pond. We’ve lived in this town nearly a decade and have never seen this pond. How can it be? How did we miss this?

We press our way in through tangled vines, dry branches, and decaying logs till we reach the water. We test out the surface with our sneakers and hear the crush and crackle of breaking ice.

We’ll return when it’s colder. I recall winters on the banks of the Potomac River and finding a winter wonderland of little frozen pools of water by the shore. It felt magical to sit on the frozen river with snow falling that made the tiniest whisper of sound, like bells from a far off country.

Now I know this pond freezes just behind my house. Just knowing it’s there brings me new joy today.

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