I commiserated with the mom at pick up about the frozen chunk of ice that broke the front wheel clear off her stroller. A fury at those frozen guardrails that hem us in rose up in me as we brainstormed a way to re-attach that wheel.
For a while each winter the thaw and freeze cycle lines the way with grooves filled with shadows and snow. We get stuck walking in those grooves and they harness us into a very limited route. Like an animal tethered to a pole we walk in circles, and strain to upend the stake. Home, school, work, school, home again. Like a record, we travel the grooves round and round until it stops. The grooves get shallower, the rain comes over night, and we scatter.