I haven’t a vocabulary to do justice to the charm intrinsic in the five and three-quarters minutes of the video below, passed on to me Monday by friends in Bauers I recently made up in Maine. It’s a time lapse video compressing seven and a half hours of remarkable devotion, on ice, this past Super Sunday. This is the very same shrine for shinny I skated less than three weeks ago, and one of the things I remember most from that fabulously frigid adventure was my hosts imploring me to return to their wondrous rink to skate with them again, on Super Bowl Sunday. That was a special skate, they told me. As my friends described the elaborate scheme on ice for the big day the big football game seemed so secondary in this community. And small wonder why.
This is a community of the touqued beautifully embracing, and celebrating, splendidly frozen nature. Their mission Sunday was simple: To start skating before noon and to have at the near all gear necessary to nourish, replenish, refresh . . . so that they could skate until dark, then watch some football. No detail seems spared in this party on ice: I count three grills propaned or briqueted up for a hot lunch; there was a bit of beer as well. Note how the devoted skate to the buffet fare and coolers — who wants to bother removing skates just for a meal!
It’s so communal, so participatory, so gorgeously pure puck. And at day’s end, nearly eight hours later, still a contingent remains on ice, warmed by bonfire, soon perhaps to sleep, soon to skate again.