Lining up to get ice skates and seeing families come together. Skating in downtown Navy Pier. Seeing parents putting on their children’s skates while waiting in line, then beginning to skate. Followed by feet crying and arms screaming. But in the end laughter and happiness took over.
I soon realized how skating can bring people together and how strong everyone is. I saw that no matter what might be happening in their lives or what hardships they’re going through, they can set that aside and come together for a day and celebrate Winter Wonderfest.
In the front of the line I saw family, friends, and lovers skate. As if nothing else mattered and they were the only people in the world. Everyone skated and when they did, the feeling of the world melting away began to emerge in you. Because everyone seemed so happy. There was no fear, no sadness, or anger. The only thing showing in their faces, in their eyes, was love and happiness. Everyone or everything was at peace, even if people were falling. At that moment, I saw beauty in Chicago. I saw how the people could form part of a beautiful painting representing Chicago, and in that painting there were all different colors with different faces but everything was formed together to create a moment that I will never forget.
Once I began to skate and fall, I grabbed onto the rails. Then I realized I wasn't the only one. Others were also holding on for dear life. They weren't scared though, they weren't angry either. It was strange how they were laughing. Some people were laughing so hard that it brought tears to their eyes. Yes, some were falling but they would get up and they were laughing. And no one was laughing at them, it was more of laughing with them, and once they got up they would fall over and over again. Yet no one was angry. No one cared that others saw. They were too busy enjoying themselves, too busy spending time with their families or friends to notice others looking at them.
And it made me realize that no matter how many times people would fall they would get back up. And not just in skating, but in life. Chicago, stand right up. Chicago stands tall with pride. The skyscrapers stay strong even after a blizzard, even after thunder and lightning. No matter the weather, no matter the tragedy that might occur, Chicago holds up its head with pride and stands strong just like its citizens. No one will ever see a skyscraper lying on its side looking as if it was about to fall. If it were about to fall then a group of people would come together, pushing, fixing it to look perfect. They will give it their all. All blood, sweat, and tears would be put in. That also implies for the community in Chicago. You will never see a person fall and everyone around them doing nothing. Blood, sweat, and tears will be put in so that no one or thing will be leaning to fall.
When I finally get off the ice my feet crying and my arms screaming, I first realized how much pain I was going to be in tomorrow. Secondly, I realized how I’m laughing and I'm not that angry. If anything, I don't think that I have ever laughed the way I did that night. I had never laughed that loud or that strong before.
From the 826CHI Student Publication: A Flower Blooming in the Dark