This precious historic moment was safely nestled in the glowing period that lolls between the two towering winter holidays, of Christmas and New Years. A golden opportunity had opened up in the life of this preschooler. It consisted of a fortuitous convergence of opportunity, motivation, and timing. Some of which belonged to him and yet much more belonged to the inevitable force and momentum of the Canadian psyche.
The critical elements also included, besides available ice, competent coaches and trainers for this operation to succeed. This was fulfilled quite nicely by the attentive encouragement and support of his parents and the appearance of a bonus Uncle, as added backup, should the coaching breakdown in any way. The most important ingredient in all of this was of course a pair of brand new skates. Provided no doubt by the recent visit of Santa, who had either brought skates fresh from the North Pole or the local Canadian tire store.
Kane, to his credit, had already clearly mastered all the standard problems associated with humans primary mode of locomotion, namely walking. Was he ready to adventure forward into the more challenging world of skating was another matter. I never had much of a discussion with his folks, but my guess was that they had simply decided that today was the appropriate moment to test the waters, or rather the ice. Regardless, this day, Wednesday December 29th had been anointed as the proud moment when Kane, regardless of the outcome, was going to stride forward in his life and officially take part in the great Canadian past time, skating.
There are a little over 34 million of us stretched across this vast country. The number of indoor rinks has been calculated to be roughly around 2500, depending upon which census you look at, or believe. When you factor in as well the countless frozen ponds and lakes that are created, when the heel of the frosty winter boot strikes down hard upon our 10 provinces. The opportunities to strap on sharp steel onto your feet and fly across expanses of frozen water in this country of ours is tremendous.
|Skating in 1884 Montreal|