recreational ice skating

euphoria on ice
Diana Lathrop-Bouchard

Sara Beth Bouchard

Euphoria on Ice

Thirsty and hungry after hours of ice hockey
On the night-lit pond,
The teenagers are hunched around the warmth of the wood fire.


The far reaches of unskated ice beckon me
With whispering urgency.
Skates relaced, I skim across the scoured area of our game and beyond,
Heading to the opposite shore.
The swish of steel bites the pristine surface of glinting
Black ice — a skater’s dream.


Gliding into a hushed world,
Only the clack-clack of running blades
And occasional groan of compressed crystals break the silence.
A full moon shoots silvery streaks across the shimmering surface.
Great tall pines and the Hamburg Hills stand out
In etched relief.
The faint aroma of wood smoke wafts on a slight wind.
The cold is fierce, sending air needles on each inhale of my breath.


Carving great sweeping arcs on the ice,
Testing a jump or two, a few spin revolutions,
And I enter my magic bubble.
Here there are only faster and faster runs, turns, Axels and jumps,
Tonight done effortlessly.


Soaring, swooping, spinning, spinning, spinning,
Suddenly! Propelling toward the stars, sailing above the pinetops,
Objects of the night sky sharper, brighter, nearer.
A weightless, celestial transcendence of barriers, space, and time.
Free flowing in the skies,
The essence of Me going here and there.
I look down and see a whirling top far below me.


Later, perhaps only seconds, I’m back in my white skates
Flashing patterns on the ice,
My breath coming in heavy gulps.


I turn and stroke slowly the long distance toward the firelight,
Reluctant to return.
Aware of an ineffable experience.
My inner self changed forever
By a brief encounter with the All That Is.


Diana Lathrop-Bouchard

Waterford, Conn.

Grandmother to ISI member Sara Beth Bouchard of Waterford, CT (pictured).
A skater as a young girl, Diana still joins her family on the ice. 

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