It’s a steamy 90 degrees outside in the swampy malarial heat of July in Minnesota, but here inside the vaulted interior of Our Lady of the Five Minute Major it’s a refreshingly cool 40 degrees. Yes, we have left behind the dusty buzz of the baseball diamond for the icy vaults of the hockey rink. Can autumn be far behind?
I know, it’s not even August yet. We still have a cicada filled month of days at the lake, and citronella infused nights on the porch before the State Fair arrives to herald the end of our summer. I won’t wish it away. After all I will have a full six months to spend with the hockey cult as 20 Prospect Jr pursues his love of the sport. It truly is a cult here in MN. Each rink we play at memorializes the players that have played there before and gone on to Olympic, Pro or college glory. There jersey’s are signed and framed on the walls like shrines to a Saint. (Today we are praying for the intercession of St. David Backes).
Out on the ice the kids skate from end to end chasing the puck and indulging their dreams of greater glory. It is such a competitive sport. I do my best to keep the fun in it for Jr knowing that he will never move beyond the youth level. Even High School hockey here is a long shot. Only the top 10 percent of the kids out there will ever make it to varsity. It makes me realize how blessed I was to go to a small High School in podunk NY in the 80’s when HS sports were still attainable for slow skinny kids like me.
Someday 20p Jr will have to hang up those skates and give up the dream. Probably at a much younger age than I had to surrender my dreams of college football. But until that day I will continue to sit here in the frozen pews and watch him dream.