Hey, Fellow Tribeless!
What’s on your mind today? I woke up this morning to my ultimate nemesis invading my immediate world. Yep! The one, single, nefarious component of winter I actually loathe has coated itself over everything, spreading its crystalline, insidious tentacles over the driveways and sidewalks, flowing into the streets like lava spewed from a frozen hell. You know exactly what I’m talking about, ICE. Ice has claimed many a sprained ankle, broken bone, and, of course, car accidents with some being lethal.
While I found myself cursing this wintry antagonist all before breakfast, my thoughts drifted like fine crystals of snow on the wind’s breath and a question glided its way onto my mental landscape. What role does ice play? What does it signify? I had never before thought to consider its sheer, slippery existence as having a reason for being. Challenge accepted!
So, here I am, opening my mind to consider a different perspective. Everything has a purpose, so what is the purpose of ice? My mind first travels to ice rinks, the harnessing of a natural element for fun and enjoyment: hockey, speed skating, figure skating, bobsledding, and I guess even curling. Now I’m wondering, when did we begin using ice as a means of game and sport? Consulting The Google, I uncover some extremely interesting facts. The known first pair of ice skates discovered thus far date back to 3000 BC, over 5000 years ago! However, scientists believe they were more used as a way to traverse the frozen landscape as a necessity for survival. What about for fun? I continue mining the infinite data stores of Google until I land in the 1300s, the birth of the modern ice skate designed for the purpose of fun and sport by the Dutch. WOW! So, for at least seven centuries, we have utilized this invisible, slippery element for our enjoyment and pleasure and challenge. This seems more a testament to our resourcefulness and resiliency, but not exactly about its purpose.
Then my thoughts slide into the last time winter coated us in its hard, crystal, candy shell. Our outer world slowed down, sure, out of necessity, but it slowed down, nonetheless. We couldn’t speed to work, rush to get errands done, fly to the next event on our packed daily calendar. Albeit forced, we cancelled unnecessary activities, non-vital appointments, and walked slowly, deliberately, aware of our surroundings instead of our faces buried in the harsh, unnatural glare of our phones, oblivious to the world around us. We had time to take a deep, life-energizing breath. We had time to BE instead of constantly doing.
This, my Fellow Tribeless, is what ice represents. It’s a reminder to slow down, enjoy the scenery, have fun with life, take a breath, re-evaluate what is actually important, be a human Being instead of a human doer. Our society implores us to push, push, push, do more, more, more, sprint the Human Race. But, for all of us, the finish line at the end is the same – Death. And I, for one, am in absolutely no hurry to cross that finish line any time soon. I’m having way too much fun living, inching my way to the end, taking the scenic route. But sometimes Mother Nature needs to remind us what Life is all about, Experiencing. And so, if she needs to throw a little ice our way as a reminder of that every now and then, then it’s really not a sinister slipperiness but a succoring shimmeriness.
How well do you heed Nature’s prompts? How can you integrate the lessons ice teaches us in all seasons of the year? The ice has slowed us down today, so you have the time to talk and I have the time to listen. I’m all ears.