A thousand things that ice can do

Ice. I thought I understood it, well enough.

Smooth, slippery, flat against the road. Or else cubed, straight out of the freezer drawer.

If I’m really lucky back home, I might even see a few icicles — or at least a few pre-icicles that look like nothing more than a frustrating drip.

And then I came to Bergen, where hail is as common as rain or snow, where meltwater drips each day to freeze each night, where damp earth is separated by the cold into alien-like forms of twisting ice and sand, where changing water levels leave multi-story cutaways of sheet ice by the shore, where hoar-frost flowers form I don’t know how, where streams and ponds freeze hard enough to step gingerly onto, where cliffs are covered with walls of hanging, sparkling ice, where waterfalls freeze mid-gurgle, mid-bubble.

I went on a walk around a nearby lake with my friend Becky, and the day soon turned into a sort of ice-safari…


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