Growing up, one of my favorite characters was Charlie Brown. I didn’t read the comic strip, but I loved the specials on TV. Truth be told, I lived vicariously through Charlie Brown.
The complicated social struggles Charlie Brown was having with Lucy and Snoopy and all his friends weren’t really what entertained me. I didn’t understand most of that. What entertained me was the idea of hunting for the great pumpkin in a pumpkin patch, the idea of buying a Christmas tree in the snow, and the idea of kids casually ice skating outside on a pond as snow falls softly and piano music plays peacefully in the background. It all just seemed right to me.
Without Charlie Brown, I would have thought all pumpkins came from the grocery store and that ice skates were only used indoors by under-dressed children with a white-knuckle grip on the half wall that surrounded the rink. But Charlie Brown enlightened me, and I am thankful.
Not long after we moved to Minnesota, I found out that Charles Schultz, creator of Charlie Brown, was from St. Paul, Minn. I also discovered most of the reasons I am enamoured with Minnesota trace back to something that happened in a Charlie Brown TV special. Or Grumpy Old Men. But mostly Charlie Brown.
All this to say: I had a Charlie Brown moment yesterday. Not an exasperated, I-am-fed-up-with-Lucy kind of moment, but a magical, joyful moment enjoying something quite simple.
Yesterday, I went ice skating for the first time on a pond and for the first time in about 15 or 20 years. Our family went to Centennial Lakes in Edina for a friend’s birthday. It was 11 degrees and brutally windy outside, but the frozen ponds where we skated were tucked behind a shopping area, which blocked the wind. Plus the sun was shining brightly, and that kept us warm. While we skated, music played quietly from the deluxe warming house nearby. It was simply a magical experience. Or maybe the magical part was that I, by the grace of God, managed not to fall on the ice! Either way, I am inspired to do some more ice skating soon!