Barefoot Monologues

A Journey of the Sole

Ice {Prompted}


The following post is part of what I hope will be an ongoing writing exercise that my friend Kathy and I have decided to undertake together. We are currently choosing topics from a list of prompts that can be found here. I intend to use a varying array of writing styles and techniques, and to limit my editing. Therefore many of these posts may not look anything like the rest of the stuff I write on this blog. I’m okay with that, if you are. I invite those of you with blogs of your own to participate with us! But if you’re not into it that’s okay too. I’ll title these posts differently so they are easy to skip past if you wish to do so. And as always, thanks for reading!

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Ice is often portrayed in a negative light. You may have been compared to ice at some point in your life. You may have described someone else as having an “ice-cold heart,” or heard someone be criticized for giving an “icy” cold stare. Used in this way, ice is a metaphor for emotional detachment or unwelcoming. Ice also has an air of danger about it: electricity-halting ice storms, sheer walkways and sneaky black ice are side effects of winter in the cooler climates. You have likely slipped on the slick stuff at least once in your life, and learned to be wary of its presence on the roadways.

But you’ve forgotten that ice is an exceptionally beautiful phenomenon. At zero degrees Celsius, H2O molecules expand and form patterns that cease fluid movement…just like that. Ice crystals fall from the sky in ornate, unique arrangements. Slowly freezing water drips down off the edges of rocks and buildings to form those characteristic transparent stalactites that we all call icicles. Ice blankets the earth in sheer mirrors. It forms glaciers that move like slow creatures, carving giant canyons into the rock that formed our world.

Ice is incredibly patient, and it is incredibly strong. While water is highly penetrable, allowing anything at all to pass through it, pollute it and drain parts of it away, ice is impermeable. Ice is a barrier, a stronghold. Ice can preserve things inside its frigid core for centuries, until it melts or is discovered by some curious scientists. Ice expands things that are stronger than human hands can build. Ice is a silent rogue: it can cause movement, changes and even destruction one day, and then melt away on another, leaving not a single molecule of evidence behind.

Ice can be our frosty companion. It allows us the benefits of walking across lakes without falling in. Ice can shield us from the wind and it can even insulate us from the cold. Ice chills out our drinks, cools down our bodies, and preserves our precious food supply. Ice allows somebody in New Jersey to receive an organ transplant from California.

Ice is probably kinder than most people realize.  It tends to love in the harshest of ways, but it still cares. Ice is a mercurial companion, able to slice us and heal us at the same time. Like all of the most beautiful things in nature, ice is as placid as it is violent, as beautiful as it is dangerous. Ice is your cruelest friend and your most benevolent mother.

Smile the next time somebody calls you ice cold. A lukewarm bath has nothing on you.

  • Ice {Prompted} (

2 thoughts on “Ice {Prompted}

  1. I’ll never ignore ice again, well done!

  2. Pingback: Ice {prompted} | River Ramblings

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