Compassion on ice

Last week, we decided to make the most of the eternal winter by going ice skating. Our four-year-old had never been on the ice so I quickly grabbed a support frame for her to push around. I had every expectation that she would hold on to that thing with a death grip for the entire outing. Two minutes later she was using the bar to perform swinging acrobatic tricks. After ten minutes had gone by, she ditched the frame and successfully attempted to skate on her own, throwing in a few wobbly twists and turns.

As parents and practitioners, we set up frameworks of support for those in our care. With these supports comes the responsibility to watch carefully. Some folks need to hold on to those bars for a long time, others just need the support to get started. Our job is to let go of our agenda and respond with compassion.

Next time around

About a year ago, I realized my commute home was getting harder due to the lack of air in my bicycle tires. Now, after several months of slow rides that I blamed on cold weather and lots of gear, I can to the same solution: air in tires = faster commute. 

As humans, we tend to cycle through the same patterns until we learn the intended lesson. Hopefully, I’ll be quicker to pull out the bike pump the next time around.

Mundane  transformation

On my bike ride home, I pass a nondescript hose that hosts a steady stream of water into a ditch. The arctic temperatures have transformed this otherwise humble flow into a majestic ice place complete with blue ice waves leading up to an icicle fortress and crowned with a magnificent ice arch formed from an otherwise insignificant bend over weed. No photograph can capture its beauty.

Why does this matter? It reminds me; that which is seemingly insignificant can transform from the ordinary to the extraordinary when given the right set of circumstances.

How do we create those transformative circumstances for one another?

Planning reality

We woke up to temperatures significantly below zero today. So significant, that school was delayed by two hours in hopes it would warm up a bit. What did our oldest daughter do in those two hours? She started planning out the outfits she would be wearing to summer camp…a veritable fashion show of tank tops and shorts. 

My lesson from her: If your current reality does not suit you, start planning the next one.

Water play

I was born thirty five years old. I contemplated life as a hobby and took little interest in toys. However, the exception to this rule came on the hottest of childhood summer days in elderly neighbors’ above ground pool. There I spent countless hours with my sister and mom choreographing boisterous water ballet routines. As an adult, I was a little better at playing but not by much. Then I met Aqua Zumba. Five minutes into class, I could not wipe the grin from my face. Flailing about in the water with full abandon, it did not matter that most of the others could have been my grandmother; I was instantly transported to my eight-year-old self in Mrs. Lambien’s pool. Days after the class, I still smile.

How do you play?