the goal of our drive north was to visit the cabin to see how it had fared during the exceedingly snowy winter.  (answer: just fine.)  while we couldn’t stay there overnight without risking severe pneumonia, we were at leisure to walk up and down the hill, over variously bare or still-snowy ground, listening to the trees dripping, the dwindling ice sighing, and the few early-returned or hardy over-wintered forest dwellers (though no chipmunks were apparent), making the most of the final sunlight moments.  the air was crisp and clean, the ground spongy underfoot, and the broken ice drifted past the shore at a slow walking pace, melted into unlikely sculptures.  the sun set over the lake, far, far from where we ever see it in the summer, and a ghostly mist began to rise off the river we like to canoe on hot summer days.  far from seeming bleak, the cabin actually still feels magical at this time of year, perhaps even more for showing us an early-spring face we only rarely see.

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