Believe it or not, I can skate. I learnt to do it the hard way. Whilst studying in Ottawa, Canada in 2000-2002, I decided to learn skating on my own on the Rideau Canal, a long 8 km man-made canal in the middle of the city which turns to ice from December toFebruary and becomes a large outdoor skating pathway. The first time, I fell 39 times. I was blue for a week despite the multitude of clothes I was wearing in sub- zero temperatures. But slowly, gracelessly at first, I learnt.
We fly high at times, and our spirits soar. Yet always, always, we have to stay alert to what’s on the ground!
Many say this of dancing: Something I’m immensely awkward at; the sense of release of the body in flow, of soaring, of freedom, is exhilarating.
One starry night, I was skating along, the wind searing through my clothes, yet feeling totally warm inside, with the experience of gliding on the ice. I looked up at the sky, dotted with a million stars. The sense of freedom was exhilarating. Right on cue, one of my skates hits a crack in the snow, and I’m gliding no more, but flying, falling, crashing on the ice! Ouch! That hurt! My spiritual oceanic experience was grounded with a loud thump!
We fly high at times, and our spirits soar. Yet always, always, we have to stay alert to what’s on the ground! I may not have skated again since those cold student days, but, I pray to never lose sight of the stars, as I watch out for the cracks in the ice! And I smile at the memory of floating, falling, crashing, and trying again!