Ice and snow is not something that happens here. We get excited when it’s cold enough to rain with hail once or twice during winter. Sub-zero temperatures are unheard of. Our experiences are mostly of drought and temperatures in the mid 40s Celsius.
So when a friend mentioned she had spare tickets to a pop-up ice-skating rink on Sunday I opted in for a unique experience.
Catching the tram into the city, I thought back to when I last skated. 25 years ago at a big indoor rink on the edge of town.
But this was different. A marquee setup on the grass alongside the small river that runs through town. Some fire barrels, warm drinks and a few outdoor games while you are waiting. The marquee was enclosed with clear panels so it still felt quite open. And inside, a portable ice rink roughly 6×12 metres. Not big, but we were early and got out on the ice straight away before the hoards of parents and children started trickling in.
First thing I noticed was that I hadn’t forgotten how to skate, in my self-taught-by-watching-others style anyway. Starting, stopping, turning, all easy, just like riding a bicycle!
Fun music playing, a predominance of early Michael Jackson songs. I just enjoyed myself thoroughly. Certain that I had a big smile on my face the whole time.
As more and more people got onto the ice, negotiating around the more cautious skaters became fun. Picking one of the experienced skaters and trying to keep up with them.
And after a while, I noticed mostly everyone was having a fun time as well. All I could hear was laughter and happy voices. What a great little atmosphere. People laughing at partners falling. Children eyes wide with wonder. Adults joyfully helping children skate. Even beginners hanging onto their penguin stands gliding along and enjoying themselves. Children falling over in front of me – stop and help them up with a smile, see them smile back.
Sunday I had a magical experience. The more I think back to it, the more joy I feel.
Now I know that one day I must skate in an outside natural skate arena, at night, maybe with a glass of champagne in one hand. And have some lessons, learn to skate better and skate backwards. New goals, fresh inspiring ideas, future thoughts!
What are your ice skating experiences?
What was the last magical experience you had?