A picture arrives from a friend in Hawaii--a fine sand, sunny beach on the ocean, no clouds, waves gently lapping, palm trees swaying. "Wish you were here...." she writes.
I sigh as I put on my sweater, my snowpants, my hat, my jacket, my scarf, my boots, my mittens, and walk to the lake, where finely grained snowflakes spin through the air, as frosty breath rises from my mouth, and I listen to the quiet that comes with a thick blanket of snow. In the distance, someone's set up an ice-fishing shack, and nearby, a long dock has been marooned away from shore for the winter. Skiers glide by, ducks congregate around an open patch of water by a storm drain, children and dogs frolic. I walk out onto the lake where the wind has created ripples in the snow, and I think of my friend in Hawaii. Maybe she's lying in the warm sun. Maybe she's reading a good book, sipping ice tea. Maybe she's building a sand castle on the ocean beach.
Or--just maybe she's dreaming of building a snow-castle on a lake.