Day 105

Today I went ice skating at  Edgemont Park….the place where John and I followed the “drama of the fountains” in October.  I figured skating is a lot like walking, and I was right. Except skating requires more balance.

I got to the ice just in time to hear a woman yelling, from the sidelines, to a child who was sliding around clinging to an orange cone that had been left on the ice. The cone was clearly there to be used by some hockey players. But the hockey players weren’t around. And the kid needed the cone.

“Leave that cone alone,” she shouted, as she walked by with another woman. “Leave it where it belongs.”

The kid was on the verge of tears, calling to his own mother, who was retreating with another child in tow.

It was clear that the cone didn’t really belong anywhere. The passerby just wanted to control everything: the afternoon, the ice, the kid, the cone.

But soon she was gone and I was making my way shakily along the ice. I really wished I could borrow somebody else’s child, like a prop. That, or use one of those orange cones for balance But I was afraid someone would yell at me from the sidelines, and that would not be good for either one of us.

Soon enough I saw a lovely family skating together, and realized the mom was the friend of a friend. Katica is a Québécois, and we skated along nicely, talking about recent visits we’d both made to Montreal. Afterward, our mutual friend told me that Katica is a world-class a.k.a champion skater.

I couldn’t help but think about that woman  screeching at that poor kid about the orange cone. And Katica, in contrast, quietly and graciously skating beside me, pacing herself with me, seemingly content to let the day, and the afternoon, unfold in a lovely and unchallenged way.

Life lessons are where you find them.