I looked out the window this morning after springing out of bed with gusto and what did I see? A pond completely coated with ice. I was surprised but wouldn’t have been had I thought last night about what was in the realm of possibilities for this morning. Ice had formed along the edge of the pond the previous night, and it was substantially colder last night. Anyone with any sense at all would not have been surprised at what I saw this morning.
In my defense, however, I must say that concern for the state of the pond has not occupied a place in the forefront of my thoughts. Granted, I look at the pond every day and very often repeatedly throughout any given day, particularly on weekend days. I generally look at the pond because I like to. Most times, the pond is pleasing to behold. Most times (except during hard winter and a total frozen state) I will see birds in or near the pond. There are no birds today. Based on weather reports for the near future, I expect that it will be a while before water birds will return.
I don’t think ahead in my regard of the pond. I look at it to see what’s going on, not whether I correctly forecasted in the past what I will view this instant. I like being surprised, especially when the surprise is pleasant or particularly intriguing. I’m not sure how I would react if I looked at the pond and saw an apparition floating over the surface of the water, or a human sacrifice being performed on a canoe by an unknown band of local forest-dwelling aborigines. Sure, I would be intrigued by these sights but would also be horrified.
Perhaps that’s a reason why I keep glancing at the pond. It changes little from one hour to the next. But every now and then I see something I haven’t seen before, such as a strange bird or water-dwelling mammal, or a neighbor rowing across the pond with a large rock on board, retrieved from some secret place on the opposite side.
Pond watching is a harmless diversion from the mundane affairs of the average day. Although the approach of winter means that the pond will ice over and will be the host of fewer interesting events, the beauty of the pond will remain, itself an entirely adequate reason for frequent glances out the window.