Breaking the Ice

ice, break through,I walked past many puddles crusted over with ice before I gave in to my desire to step on one and break the ice. This was something I enjoyed doing as a child and it still gives me pleasure now. There is something satisfying about the sound of the ice cracking and seeing the web of lines form on the surface.

Later I witnessed two young girls stepping on the same sort of puddles. The older sister looked at the younger and said, “You can’t break it because you have to be strong – like I am. Let me help you.” The girls held hands and jumped together, cheering when they broke through the ice.

The path I walk goes alongside a meandering creek. In the stillness I hear the faint sound of fractures in the ice. Along the bank I see areas where water flows beneath an overhanging ledge of ice.breaking ice

I am reminded the water has been there all along. It couldn’t be seen under the covering of ice but was still there, waiting for the right season to show itself again.

This is reminiscent of the hope hidden under the cares of life. When I dwell alone in the shadows there is no chance for the warmth to seep in and melt away the coldness holding me prisoner.

Sometimes we can’t break through on our own. We are stronger together. Let’s reach out and take the hand of another. Together we can break through the ice caused by isolation.

Trapped at Home

isolation, lonlinessThe elderly man we passed in the stairwell used broken English and hand gestures to convey his message. We smiled and nodded, even though we weren’t sure what he was trying to tell us. All we knew was it had something to do with the stairs.

Although our assigned underground parking spot is next to the elevator, we routinely walk to the end of the hall and take the stairs. That is why it was several days after our encounter before I fully understood what this gentleman had attempted to convey.

A glance at the elevator as I passed caused me to stop and read the notice posted there. It was dated a few days earlier and informed us the elevator was out of order until the end of the week.

This situation would be inconvenient when we carried groceries in but was something we could still manage. It would be much more difficult for those in our building with mobility issues, such as the elderly man we saw who slowly made his way down the stairs. Some would be trapped, unable to exit the building without the elevator they relied on.

Being trapped at home is something many of us are experiencing right now. Restrictions on gathering together mean our Christmas will be spent at home and not with our loved ones.

I am one of the lucky ones. As much as I’d like to be with our children and grandchildren at Christmas, I am not alone. My husband and I will spend a quiet Christmas together. Through technology we will be able to connect with our family and watch them open their gifts.

There are many who will spend the day alone. I can’t invite others into my home right now but can reach out and let them know they haven’t been forgotten. Maybe being trapped at home this year will give me more opportunity to share the joy and love of the Christmas season.