We saw the new year in with a quiet evening of Wii games, assorted play, yummy organic crisps, and trying to stay up all night.Morgan crashed out before 10pm and couldn't be woken five minutes before midnight (she was awake enough to nod her head when I asked her if her legs were too tired to come down and watch the fireworks, but she was too tired to open her eyes). Jenna made it to nearly 1am before crying and telling everyone she wasn't tired - and falling asleep on the floor in the living room.The moon was beautiful. Wish my camera was better!After tea we celebrated with donuts (round foods, as Ash suggested, are traditional) and wrote our best and worst of 2009. Then we made some cards with our plans for next year, including "make more popcorn" (Jenna) and "qualify as a doctor!" (Ashleigh). Later we attempted eating one grape for every stroke of midnight. Most of us didn't quite manage it, though Rowan does LOVE grapes! Thanks Ashleigh, it was a pleasure to welcome in the new year with you.Then yesterday, after the children all bounced out of bed as usual at 8am (nothing seems to change that 8am morning, no matter how late the night - or early - they always wake between 7.30 and 8am!) we went for a walk with my mum and baby brother. Pay attention, folks, these may be amongst the only pictures you ever see of the elusive and notoriously camera shy teenage boy. ;)
Mapperly reservoir was beautifully frozen, a thin crisp crust on one side and a thick solid sheet on the other. We bounced pebbles off the lake, hearing the musical echoes, and wondered at the fresh new world.
Martin found what looked more like a small tree than a big stick, and sent it right through the crust into the icy water. It did look marvelous poking out like that! It showed us just how thin the ice really is around that side though, and made Morgan more wary of trying to throw herself over the edge!Where plants have slowed the freezing, these beautiful patterns appear on the surface.A large rock and a half brick, both heaved in by Jay, did not break the surface. Jenna scolded her uncle for scaring the ducks, who were all paddling around right on the very far side! We prevented him from trying out walking on it also - we are NOT in Estonia, where this week my other baby brother has been routinely walking across the lake as it is below -10 and the ice is so thick it takes four young lads with pickaxes considerable effort to dig a hole big enough to throw each other into. I take it on authority that I should try to go in summer, as it is local tradition that guests have to go for a swim in the lake at 1am on their first visit.The world is such an amazing place. We walk around on this fragile crust as if it were normal and perfectly unremarkable, taking for granted what is just a hair breadth away from nothingness. Life is beautiful, and miraculous, and precious. Love is beautiful, and miraculous, and precious. I love this life, and these souls I'm blessed to share it with.