Enjoying the Season

Reader Contribution by Erin Sheehan
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Mid-January I know a lot of people in the northeastern USA start to get a little cabin fever. The cold and the snow start to get us down. We miss the sun. We miss tending our garden and being outside. But there is still fun to be had, even when the days are short and the temperatures plummet.

I am very fortunate in my community to have a free outdoor ice skating rink that’s open to the public. It’s only about a mile or so from my office, so once a week after work I walk down and take a few spins around on the ice. It can almost feel like I’m flying sometimes as I let the skates glide me around. Last night it was windy and cold (about 25 F) but the skating felt so good I didn’t want to leave. I stayed so long it was starting to remind me of when I was a child and I’d skate until my legs were ready to give out.

When I was young my dad would shovel off an area of the millrace in our neighborhood so we could go skating. We’d sit on the ground together at the edge of the ice to put our skates on and I’d skate for hours. I always outlasted Dad out there on that ice. There was a municipal pond that our city cleared as well, much larger, where I’d go with friends on weekends. If the skating wasn’t good but there was snow we’d go sledding in the back yard, where we were fortunate enough to have a good sledding hill. I have such good memories of those times.

Recapturing some of the joy of the winters of your childhood is possible if you are open to it. Maybe there’s an ice rink near you. Or maybe this year you have enough snow to take out a sled. There’s a storm heading up the east coast today, I hope for you that you are lucky enough to be in its path. Winter doesn’t have to be all negative. We can bring back what it feels like to slide down a hill on a sled or fly across the ice on our skates. We’re never too old for those joys.