These small formal Victorian ponds were a source of deep wonder to that childhood mind.
Another realm to be explored and one that was fingertip close yet impossible to know.
During those distant winters these watery worlds were magically transfigured with sheets of crystal like ice.
The frozen water crept slowly out across the surface day by day, thickening and becoming more opaque.
Liquid became solid and the tympani of water peals to skipping stone and skimming ice.
Beneath this cold lens of ice all life slept, a temporary cessation of vivacity.
Yet one sensed the latency as it patiently waited for the touch of spring sunshine and the long thaw that led to the reanimation of these magical wetlands.
Few places held my attention more than these small suburban ponds set within a post industrial landscape of moss garlanded red brick and crumbling mill.
And here they remain, ice clothed and utterly still, held in the vice like grip of a northern winter.
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Photo courtesy of the author.