Saturday, January 17, 2015
On the Ice
I took a stroll to the nearby reservoir. A family was ice fishing about 50 yards from shore. The ice was clearly rotten near the shore, but perhaps the ice was thick and safe in the center of the reservoir. I had no way to verify ice thickness without walking out and looking at their fishing hole. At any rate, the portly gentleman at the right of the photograph was the family member most at risk.
I toyed with the idea of going out on the ice myself. However, walking on the ice didn't seem particularly exciting. On the other hand, breaking through the ice and finding myself in ice cold water would, in fact, be plenty exciting; but it would be an excitement I could do without. Consequently, I remained on the shore.
In order for me to move onto the ice, my mental calculation of risk versus reward would have to shift. I would have to enjoy being on the ice a great deal more and fear an icy death a great deal less.
I remembered having a great deal of fun on the frozen backwaters of the Mississippi River as a boy. I would ride my bicycle, slipping and sliding, and then throw it into a mad skid on the ice. It was great fun trying to stay upright during the skid and not wipe out on the ice. And back then it never occurred to me to worry about breaking through the ice and dying.
I'm not sure what moral to draw from any of this.