Reflections over a frozen canal


Walking over the bridge on the way home from town today, I looked down at the frozen canal which is now in the process of thawing. Pools of water lay here and there on the surface and ducks were happily bobbing around in the open areas under the jetties.

I lingered for a while and looked down over the canal and over towards the city hall.

On the ice, I noticed thin track lines. The evidence from people on cross-country skis was now melting into the slushy surface. I also noticed footprints. Remnents of Stockholmers out for a walk one winter Sunday on the ice. The footprints had lost their sharpness, they had become diffuse, blurred at the edges. Slowly, slowly, they were disappearing as the canal reclaimed its watery surface.

I was struck by how temporary things are. Soon all proof of those skiers and those Sunday strollers will be gone. Any trace of their activities melted away.

Is this how it is for all of us? Our lives are temporary. We are only here for a fleeting moment. With all our activity, we leave a mark. And then gradually that mark dissipates and nothing is left to show we were ever there.

Are we all Sunday strollers on a frozen Swedish canal?

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