Have you ever experienced a moment of complete serendipity? It can come in many forms, but for me personally, it came by way of a wrong turn on an early morning snowy walk with my dog, Ryder. It’s amazing how one “mistake” can completely change the course of your day and your mood.
There are a million amazing feelings in life, but the moment you turn the corner on a lightly traveled path in the middle of the woods and you see a glimmer of ice, that moment sits upon the top of the list. In winter, I, like many a player, see the prospect of what could be. A frozen parking lot, a pond on the side of the road, a small brook down behind the local gas station… all perfect bodies of water, that when frozen act as an oyster for the lover of ice. I would skate on a puddle if the opportunity presented itself. It’s what being a hockey player is all about, finding ice and taking advantage of it.
But this morning, in the middle of the woods, a serendipitous moment occurred — before my eyes, on an old mill pond, an outdoor rink appeared. A perfectly shoveled rectangle with a small skate way off the edge of the rarely traveled path. You better believe I took advantage of it.
While many people have an emergency kit loaded into their car, mine consists of something slightly different, two pucks, four sticks, skates, and a bag of hats and mittens. Because, in the middle of winter in New England, you never know when the opportunity to play puck will arise.
Of course, practicing safety is always a good idea. I was walking Ryder, as I often do, alone — the dog is so protective that it’s never an issue. Luckily, I’m blessed with a family that understands my love of the game, perhaps they don’t understand it, but they respect it. So, when I rang home to request someone come make sure I didn’t fall through the ice in the middle of the woods, they answered. Trudging back through the sizeable amounts of snow to get my skates and stick, my sister greeted me at the car, armed with hot chocolate and a smile.
It’s amazing how one small discovery can change your outlook on many things, clear your mind and bring joy to your day. My morning was filled with serenity, beauty, laughter and love… all because of one wrong turn.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, perhaps an outdoor rink of happiness will await on the other side of the bend.