What is it about skating on a frozen pond that makes me feel poetic? There was “Skating on a Winter Night” a few years ago with Owen and my friends when we had sticks and pucks. And then there was this past weekend on Black Creek Marsh.
We had to hike a snowy trail down to the windswept ice and we tested its thickness, walking out on the surface, gingerly, one step and then another, pressing down our weight, and the only way you discover if it’s too thin is to break through, which we didn’t.
And so we sat on a log and donned our skates and the ice was smooth as a clear winter sky, except for those parts where the grasses poked through and there were many, and so we skated as if on an obstacle course.
It’s true I couldn’t use my edges like I used to or turn and skate backward as smoothly as I once could or crossover in both directions as elegantly or stop and start with authority—I could do it all a little and Owen could do it all and more. He’s got the speed and the moves and the artistry of his hockey days, and I’ve got this moment on the ice, under the sun and with my son, and the next day I’ve got aches and pains I savor almost as much as the skating itself.