Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | February 9, 2008

The Icicle

Wilton, NH. January 19, 2007

Wilton Walk

Ice dangles, seeming to defy gravity, supported by one tiny twig.

Inside, is another world. Halls of crystal glass ice encase ascending stairways and slippery slides. Those who built this castle have no use for gravity. The tiny droplet beings spiraled down from the clouds in a snowstorm, landed in the trees (still unborn inside their flake-shells), then burst out and crept along the branches, building, creating.

This is their masterpiece. It is everything that is, perfect and stable. What could possibly happen to such an artwork? The droplets built so quickly, so frenzied and joyous, that they never noticed the path below their work. “Below” has no meaning. Only inside and outside, water and ice. The path leads through a wood, and the travelers stop to remark at the castle.

If the droplets could hear the travelers’ word “icicle” they would find it a fitting name, but the voices are below their range of hearing. They also do not hear the travelers say, “too bad it’s getting warmer.”

A day later, the castle begins to melt. The castle sheds tears, and the droplets fall, one by one, to the path below. Now they learn this word, “below.” Above was light, fractured into rainbows inside the castle. Below is dark and damp, muddy slush and decaying leaves.

“We will return from this below,” they hum, “we will rise, and we will build again.”

The forest waits.


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