In his poem “The Snow Man,” Wallace Stevens wrote that “One must have a mind of winter” in order to avoid associating this season with misery. We had our first real snow today: several inches of the white stuff followed by several inches more of sleet, turning our streets into a slushy mess. The temperature has dropped and it is not going back up. Even my sons are putting on jackets to go outside, rather than defying the weather with their typical teenage bravado. When I tell them to put on warm clothes, their answer is usually “But Mom, we’re Minnesotan!” Not today.
Indeed, it is a good time to hunker down inside and have another cup of tea and maybe another serving of that strawberry-rhubarb crisp I made with the last of this year’s rhubarb. (Thanks to my skating friend Harriet who gave me a cutting several years ago, we’ve had rhubarb all spring and summer.) And then it’s definitely time to heed the rink’s siren call.
Since I skate all year around, I don’t necessarily associate winter with skating. But it is great to have a sport that actually seems more sensible as the weather turns cold. When I moved to Minnesota many years ago, I outlined all the rinks I could find on the map. There are indoor rinks (where I usually go) and some that are set up on the many lakes and parks. I usually make it out to one or two outdoor sessions every year, if only to remind myself of my skating roots (first trying out double-runner skates on a flooded basketball court and then learning at an outdoor lake at Hudson County Park).
Not today, though: still too early in the season and I’m spoiled by the heated rink and smooth indoor ice. Nothing like driving through the ice and snow to make one breathe a sigh of relief upon arrival. I felt full of gratitude for many things. For being able to shovel out the driveway and still have enough energy to feel like skating afterwards. For the friends who greet me at the rink as if just making it there were a miracle. For music. For my new and improved inside edges. For the anticipation that always comes with the advent of a new season.
Hello winter, you’re here!
The weather kept a lot of folks away today, but the stalwart few were there, and so was I in Mom’s sweater #11 (the penultimate one, I think–getting towards the end of the sweater series now). This one is cozy and warm and full of geometric shapes. Definitely rink-worthy!