Seasonally normal weather…

For March. Quirky, heavy snowfalls that are gone in a day or so, and lots of rain. But we’re not yet finished with January.

We’ve had a blast of cold recently. But stepping outside this morning was like stepping in front of a blast furnace.

The outdoor rink that volunteers were working on, that was getting some good use, is gone. Not sorta gone. Gone. That must be disappointing. It takes an unusual love for hockey and skating and winter and one’s community to make an outdoor rink happen. It’s hour after hour in the cold and dark with a water hose and a lot of patience, when the rest of us are happily inside. For them, a blast of cold weather means a chance to start on or improve the rink. It seems for them, the colder the better.

It also must take unusual commitment because the hours of work seem to be too quickly lost anymore. I can imagine how discouraging it must be to have the makings of a fantastic rink, with plans to have a tourney on the weekend or to show it off to friends and family, only to lose it in a few days of heat… with more cold of course in the forecast.

But I’m guessing that isn’t the focus for those volunteers. The focus, common to all volunteers, is likely steadfastly positive and hopeful. I’m guessing it’s not about it all becoming grass overnight, it’s about the amazing time they had on it those days after school, and the use they saw it get, and the hope to be able to do it all again, and maybe plans on how to do it better, when Jack Frost next knocks on the windows.

Still, from the winters we’ve had here, I have to wonder if the winters of outdoor rinks in our parks will be mostly lived through our stories of past fun than fun lived in the cold for our children.

About Craig Chamberlain

Ward 3 Guelph resident, dad and step-dad.
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