I live in Toledo now where it’s seeing one of its coldest and snowiest winters on record. As much as I am struggling to deal with this frigid weather, I have been searching for that “diamond in the rough” when it comes to these recent elements here. And a few days ago, I actually found it when I saw that Lake Erie had completely frozen over.
One of the aspects of nature that I seem to have always been drawn to in life is to bodies of water like Lake Erie. I learned recently in my spiritual studies that the closest way we all have to experience God or Heaven is through communing in some part of nature. For me that generally have led to sitting near a stream, a river, a pond, a lake, or an ocean and being still. But rarely have I ever gotten to experience the temperatures being cold enough to allow me to walk or sit on any of the large bodies of water I’ve been drawn to. But that all changed the other day when I went down to Lake Erie and saw that it was completely frozen over.
It’s one thing to walk out on a small pond that’s completely frozen over like I often did as a kid. But it’s quite another thing altogether to venture out 1/2 mile onto a solid mass like Lake Erie has become lately. On a day that had crystal clear blue skies and not a breadth of wind stirring at all, I had cautiously taken one step after another alongside my closest friend out onto the ice of this huge lake. In the areas we walked, it was several feet thick where no level of foot stomping could break any of it. As the sun baked my face and warmed my body, I found it strange to think the temperature outside was only in the teens. By the time we came to a rest, the shoreline was far off in the distance and it was then that I did something that I felt completely connected me Source. I laid down on Lake Erie and spread my arms and legs out as far as they could. If there was a moment I could experience what I’d hope God or Heaven would be like, it was then.
For a guy like me who has been enduring such high levels of physical pain and waiting patiently upon God for any form of relief, being able to go that far out onto a large mass of ice was pure bliss. And even though it seemed to pass by in a blink of an eye, I know that for all those moments I was out there, I was a part of something greater that I can only hope was God.
So while it’s been easy to complain about how cold and how frozen life seems to be around here in this city lately, I am grateful that I was able to find something so beautiful within it. And what I discovered out there on frozen Lake Erie the other day, truly confirmed that age-old adage that there’s always a diamond somewhere in the rough…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson