When the God Walked Across the Ice



When Aiko, who had been at the monastery ever since he was abandoned there as an infant, began to record the day upon which the cracks first appeared in the ice, he did it on a long scroll, using blue-black ink and a worn brush that he had received from his calligraphy teacher.  The Europeans would count the year as 1443, and the cold, and, as a result, the ice, came early that year to Lake Suwara, high in the Japanese mountains where Aiko and his brother monks meditated, observed, gardened, and ate rice.  Aiko was always one for patterns, for records, for stories of what had happened long ago.  And so this love child, whose mother could not give him his own history, began a tradition of recording the ice that would make history.

Of course, there was a religious reason for Aiko’s efforts.  The monks needed to know…

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