The ice is dark, almost black. The cold wind blowing across the surface has kept it polished and smooth. Your fingers are aching as you pull the last loop on your skate laces tight. You struggle to pull your gloves back on and prop yourself upright again. You look across the large bare terrain, take a deep chilling breath, and then push off. You get a rush as the sound of your blades tear through the silence and then the ice creaks under the new pressure. You hesitate, now uncertain about the strength of the ice, but then can't resist the urge any longer and power your body to full speed. You turn and skate backwards and notice the powerful pattern of white arches on the dark ice, and a smile creeps across your face as your eyes water against the cold air. It feels like you are much faster today than what you might have been the other day at the local arena. Even though you realize that the wind whipping through your toque is creating this deception you swear its true and stride even harder until you feel like you are flying. Your lungs are now screaming at the cold air that you continually suck in and finally you make a sudden stop. Your blades catch true and shave a long white brush stroke from the pond's frozen surface sending a white mist which catches a breeze and blows back in your face. You wipe away the moisture and sweat and head back to your boots to pick up your stick and puck.
This is a Canadian postcard, one that will last as long as there is a frozen pond in January to play on. I love skating outdoors. Whether on a lake, pond, river, puddle, or a flooded outdoor rink there is nothing that compares to living the way they did in the "ole days" It is rewarding to be able to "simply" enjoy things the way they were when originally they came to be. Hope you are all enjoying your winter months. Dress warm wear a smile.