On winter afternoons and evenings, I would visit a pond a fifteen-minute ride on a trolley car, and skate with a girl named Mildred Hess. Her eyes were blue and her ankles were strong. Together we must have covered hundreds of miles, sometimes leaving the pond proper and gliding into the woods on narrow fingers of ice. We didn’t talk much, never embraced; we just skated for the ecstasy of skating, a magical glide. After one of these sessions, I would go home, [...] bathed in the splendour of perfect love and natural fatigue.
This brief interlude on ice in the days of my youth had a dream-like quality, a purity that has stayed with my all my life. And when, nowadays, I see a winter sky and feel the winter dropping with the sun and the naked trees against a reddening west, I remember what it was like to be in love, before any of love’s complexities, realities or disturbances had entered in to dilute its splendour and challenge its perfection.
I love the radio, and listening to a recording of White’s son reading this on the Sunday Edition was just the right way to end the evening. What’s your favourite podcast?
1. Off-piste skiiers in Japan, 1931, from Destinasian Magazine