There’s something serene about ice, don’t you think? It has a kind of mystical, calming effect to it where you can look at it and just lose yourself in it’s beauty. Ice doesn’t play tricks or mind games, it just is what it is and doesn’t apologise for it. It’s the beauty of winter, the thing that sets it well apart from the other seasons and gives it a uniqueness to rival the splendour of autumn, the richness of spring, and the harshness of summer.
During my childhood in Canada, I always looked forward to winter, the intensity of the contrast between the seasons personified in the snow and ice, but having moved to Melbourne I feel the season just isn’t the same. Trying to find ice in Australia is a tall order, which is why I’ve developed the habit of going ice skating. Melbourne, perhaps as compensation for it’s lack of natural frost, has several wonderful ice skating rinks. Although I’m not much of a skater myself, I enjoy trying my hand at slicing over the surface, and when I tire of that, I find sitting in the stands with a piping hot chocolate satisfies my craving for winter.
Even when I had kids and became busy building my family, I still made a point of going ice skating a couple of times a season, and as my kids grew older, I began to slowly introduce them to my artificial winter refuge. To my delight, they became fascinated by it, even insisting that make use of it facilities as kids birthday party venues. These days the kids are pretty good ice skaters in their own rights, and even though they’re confused by my little tradition, when they became old enough to realised they were looking forward to it – that I had created my own association for them as well. I only hope they never grow to be dependent on the ice for the season, as I am.