We have a local towing company here in our small town. The guy who owns it is a really funny guy. He has a sign by his shop, on the way out of town, the kind that you can change the message on, and he entertains us as we enter and exit Richmond with clever phrases like: Tow Be or not Tow Be, That is the Question and Tic Tac Tow and Blizzard of Oz and the Wicked Winch of the West.
He’s a really nice guy too.
Last winter he took it upon himself to build Richmond an ice skating rink in the middle of our park. He has most of the equipment anyway, flatbed truck, plow, and even a zamboni that he bought used. And he borrowed a water pump from our local hardware store. So he cleared a space, pumped water from the river that runs along the length of the park, and he plows it and zambonis it and—voila!—we have a community skating rink.
Everyone uses it. High school kids practicing ice hockey, kids learning spins and skating backwards, parents teaching their 3 year olds how to skate (that’s me!). And now, in its second winter, we have come to rely on it…it is a place where we can find one another during a season that more often than not demands that we stay in our own houses, doors shut, fires roaring, separate from one another. It is a vital community space.
(A central theme in Cynthia Rylant’s Missing May is very much the same thing—the desperate need for people to come together and connect. Incredible book.)
To Skate or not to Skate, That is no Longer the Question. Skate! Skate! Skate!