The Boy was only 5 years old. He had come to the Frozen Pond with his family. He was very new to ice skating. It would be a day to frolic on uncertain legs. The Pond glistened in the winter sun...diamonds of light bounced off the frigid surface. The air was crisp and the sound of happiness was everywhere.
On the pond, was a concrete drainage well., with a railing around it.. But the boy was curious and soon..was too close. Dangerously close.
In a flash, he slipped and plunged into the well.. Moving water created a current and it was strong. He cried for help. His pleas competing with the shrieks of joy from other kids.
How long was he in the water?? Its not clear. Long enough for panic to engulf him.
As if by magic, an arm appeared. A strong arm grabbed the boy and lifted him up. By now, the parents had noticed he was missing. Their frantic energy was nearly combustible.
But the boy was out of danger. He was wet, scared...but okay. The terror of possibly losing a child was replaced with relief. The boy had been given a second chance.
The hero?? As quick as his strong arm lifted the boy..he had vanished. Who was he?? Where did he come from. Why did he hear the boy and not others??
The parents were confused, but soon calmed down and the days merriment soon overshadowed the "Big Scare". With time, the incident faded ... But not for the boy.
Why was he saved?. Who was the man?? If he lived..how should he live???
Over time, the boy thought back to that moment.. He never verbalized it, but had a sense that he was given a second chance in order to serve a purpose.
To this day, the park with the Ice Pond holds a magical appeal to the boy, now a man. Its where he comes to search for the limits of his potential. The place reminds him of the Power of a Helping Hand. The Power of Hope. Could he be the "Hand" that lifts up someones spirit??
He feels so in touch with the beauty of Gods World here. His time in the cherished place sometimes allows him to make sense of the fast paced world.
He sweats, and strives. His mind wanders. Miles come and go and problems melt away. Yes, he calls the place a training area, but its not just to strengthen his heart or prepare him for a race. The time there calms him, the air is invigorating. And, yes the memory sometimes brings him back to that little pocket of time, when a frozen pond changed from a spot where it all could end, to a place where everything is possible.....with Hope. The place?? North Chagrin Reservation...Strawberry Pond.
The little boy?? ..........was......me.
Now, about 50 years later, training for triathlons, or swimming long distances is striving forward with a purpose. To inspire. To get the most out of what I have been twice given..