Before winter disappears, and it will, take a walk outside and search for ice. Walk near a brook, a swamp, a pond, or if you want big ice, a river.
When I was kid, the reward for braving the coldest days of winter was “mother’s china.” That’s what my siblings and I called the very thin layer of ice that forms over puddles in ruts or depressions in the ground during super cold snaps. In a group, we would race to find unbroken sheets of ice. The thinner the ice, the more beautiful the sound when shattered. We would listen while we stomped on the delicate layer of ice, and then declare, “Yes, mother’s china.” Or if the ice was thicker and produced a less satisfying sound when broken, we would say, “Nope, mother’s everyday plates.”
“Mother’s China” is just one kind of ice out there in the frosty world. The ice that forms in a babbling brook holds another kind of beauty, as do icicles reaching for the ground. Bundle up and make your own frozen discoveries.