our sluices break loose
...Thoreau's Journal: 31-Jan-1854
We too have our thaws. They come to our January moods, when our ice cracks, and our sluices break loose. Thought that was frozen up under stern experience gushes forth in feeling and expression. There is a freshet which carries away dams of accumulated ice. Our thoughts hide unexpressed, like the buds under their downy or resinous scales; they would hardly keep a partridge from starving. If you would know what are my winter thoughts look for them in the partridge’s crop. They are like the laurel buds,—some leaf, some blossom buds,—which, though food for such indigenous creatures, will not expand into leaves and flowers until summer comes.