Experience as a Flashlight: Back when I was more daring and foolish, I used to walk on the ice. I lived in Wisconsin and winters were pretty severe for us. The river running through town froze. The huge lake where we played during summer times froze solid. So many of the locals walked on the water after it had frozen. In the case of the river, I don’t think it ever did freeze solid. The lake may have, even though one time when I was walking the lake I kept hearing cracking noises that made me more than just a little anxious.
That river cut right through the center of town and there were only a few bridges. So, in the dead of winter, to a couple of young boys, it was inconvenient to walk a block over and cross in safety. We had to cross on the ice. There were times I had doubts about the wisdom of what I was doing; but because my friend did, I did it as well.
Then the day came in which I learned my lesson. I was standing on the river talking to my brother when the ice gave way. Suddenly my left leg went down into the icy water and I became helpless. Fortunately, my brother was right there and I was only a couple of feet from shore. I got out of the frigid waters and home to some warm clothes.
I have not been on the ice since. Every year there are reports of people getting trapped on ice and falling through the ice. While it is invigorating, people who do it must realize there are many risks involved. The ice may not be as thick as we think, the current may be undercutting the ice below what the eye can see, melting may be occurring.
Back then I thought, as most young people think, that I was invincible. Falling through the ice that day showed me I need to treat ice with respect. For me that means keeping off it and admiring it from a distance.