“I wish I had a river so long. I would teach my feet to fly.” When Canadian Joni Mitchell recorded her iconic song The River in 1971, she was actually living in California.
Since then, The River has been recorded by 452 other artists, everyone from Blue Rodeo, Sarah McLaughlin to Idina Menzel, many of them Canadian artists.
There are times in our life when we all wish we had a river to skate away on, but I think Mitchell’s song resonates because it taps into our icy Canadian veins and our love affair with a frozen pond or rink.
For me that song evokes many memories, of skating on the Credit River as a child, skating all 7 kms on the Rideau Canal as a university student from the bars downtown to school, and watching in wonder as my own children found their wings and learned to fly on our frozen lake.
I remember one time BK (before kids) Dave and I hiked into Moulton Lake in Frontenac Park with our skates. It was early in the season, probably only four or five inches of black ice. The sun was rising and there were three deer at the end of the lake. The only sound besides the crunches of our skates carving into the pristine ice was the loud caws of crows soaring above, expressing their displeasure that we had disturbed their peace.
On frozen pond, I am free.
This week’s #HappyAct is to spend time outdoors on a frozen surface. Here are some pics from our frozen pond and some frosty happenings in the region to check out.
- All 7.8 kms of the Rideau canal is now open in Ottawa, making it the world’s longest skating rink. Winterlude starts January 30, 2015 and continues to February 16.
- Yesterday was the eleventh annual Skate the Lake in Portland—this tiny town on Big Rideau Lake in Eastern Ontario hosts this annual event where you can skate in 5 km to 50 km races on their oval—I plan to be there next year!
- And something for skaters to add to their bucket list. Arrowhead Provincial Park north of Toronto has created a “fairy tale” 1.3 km ice loop through majestic pines, see this story for details.