Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spy Pond

"It's a dream!" I cried as tears warmed my face in the cold February wind.

There I was this afternoon, emerging from the tree-embraced bike path, suddenly seeing before me the expanse of Spy Pond--completely frozen over. Dozens of people were skating in the bright sun, alone or in pairs or in family groups, all ages, as far as the eye could see. A few serious hockey practices, a toddler trying out tiny skates, a young man speeding past with a makeshift sail bigger than he was, parents helping kids, a teen helping a shaky mother, lots of laughter, glowing cheeks.

My amazement included these thoughts: Nobody was selling anything! No machines smoothed the smooth ice. No machines of any kind were seen or heard. It could have been a scene here 100 years ag0, 200 years ago. Yes, in 1810 early Americans in their wooden skates probably sailed around with friends and families in just this way.

Connection. Everyone here was connecting to each other in this peaceful beautiful place, and connecting to the generations before.

Shall we dare to hope the scene will be the same in 2112? Spy Pond used to freeze over all winter every winter. Now it's rare. The violent historic snowstorm in Washington DC this weekend demonstrates that climate change continues to gather momentum, disrupting natural balance. In Human Scale, it snows in June.

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