by Amy Hautman Bates
Last night I brought my dream into a lucid state where I was skating as a child. In our Minnesota winters my dad would flood the backyard with a hose for several days and create a huge skating rink for the season. It was cold. Way too cold– but looking out of our wall of windows and seeing the crowd of kids playing made joining in irresistible.
I have crude metal plates with runners strapped to my boots. I can barely stand up but I am part of the group. They are my brothers and their friends– although it doesn’t really matter who they are. They are laughing and I am safe. I am one of them. I look up and watched the wispy snowflakes float through the soft blue gray sky toward me. I open my mouth and feel the crisp cold tingle of each flake melt as it touches my tongue.
I lower my gaze and my body shifts. I become aware of the tentative contact of the double metal blades against the ice. A little push and I coasted a few feet. My tightly bundled body feels warm and protected as I drift smoothly a across the ice. I am smiling.
That vivid dream recalled a fifty year old memory. But in a way, I have the same kind of feeling right now. I am in my first year studying Art Therapy and Counseling at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM. I am surrounded by people I love– even though I just met them in September. I am intensely focused and feeling the pure sensations of what I am coming to know. At times I am standing still, in silence with heightened awareness. And at other times, I feel a nudge forward into a new place with a fresh perspective. The moments of fear only come when I look down at my skates and wonder how I am going to do this. As long as I can be present and trust my feet to know the way, I drift smoothly. I am smiling.