Yesterday, I skated to the music of church bells on a beautiful rink I had all to myself for nearly an hour.
A biting North wind may have had something to do with my rink time serenity, but, during the south-facing strides, with the wind at my back, it was practically balmy.
I grinned like a lunatic as I rounded the rink, thrilled that I could still manage a few simple moves.
I’ve lived across the street from an ice rink for most of my life. I taught my youngest sister to ice skate there, and she became a competitive figure skater.
We used to skate for hours, with momentary breaks in the warming shelter. Then, one day, we moved to an indoor rink where we could receive formal patch and figure skating instructions, and wear cute skating skirts. What we gained in fashion and skill, though, we lost in ice-cold spontaneity.
Yesterday, utterly bored by the prospect of another workout on the elliptical, I dug my old skates out of a basement bin and crossed the street.
I have no idea why it had taken me so long to come back to the rink, but I had not made that 200-yard trudge through the park for many, many years.
Molly tagged along briefly to record the event and, dressed inappropriately in a short shirt and oversized sweater, she waited patiently as I booted up, one painful lace at a time.
Then she snapped a couple of quick shots and high-tailed it back to the house.
My ankles wobbled briefly on my first pass and I thought for a moment about the movie Ice Castles.
If a mom crashes on the ice in a park with no one to see, does she lay there unconscious and potentially frozen until some park worker in a Zamboni squashes her flat?
It all came back to me on the second pass, and I spent a merry while on the ice. Eventually, I ceded the rink to a pleasant group of young hockey players, but I can’t wait to go back.
If you live in the area, dig out your old ice skates and join me.