It’s truly difficult to put into words the profound sentimental value that a pair of roller-skates has held in my life. I was gifted these roller-skates almost two decades ago, as a young teenager they were my ticket to freedom. My vehicle to independence, my expression of the free spirit I believed I was, the validation of earned responsibility and truly two platforms that transported me into a dimension of solitude, a very valuable place for an oversensitive tween who felt everything. These roller-skates held me and moved with me like they were attached to my spirit, ebbing and flowing with the ups and downs of angst, envy, mistrust, disbelief, and simply losing it in the chaos of massive changes. Without judgement they stabilized me and emboldened in me a balance of physicality and pure will to keep up and make it great. The idea that something so juvenile could be so withstanding is underrated. So often we come across our child hood toys solely in nostalgia, we forget or even reject what they did for our souls and that we are still allowed to be connected with that magic.
I still skate in these skates. I skate when I can, when I remember or when I’m inspired. After all these years they remember the shape of my feet and the patterns of my movement, they predict the turns and twists like their was no extrinsic difference between the beginning and now. I can feel through my soles and into my veins that they are at their happiest, worn around the edges, light crumbles in the toe stop and the trucks a little shakey, they are elated and at home. Sensations of peace, certainty, aplomb, and joy coming from your personal history and connection with that which has carried you through the things that gave you your rough edges, light crumbles and shakey moments.
It is it crazy to believe that I have learned how to be open, compassionate and safe in my sensitivities because of the relationship with my roller-skates. That which has carried me, has been sensitive and compassionate and bore my burdens and my blessings, took care of my spirit every chance they got, I have carried with me everywhere and through everything. I will continue to carry them with honor to their unbreakable loyalty. And when they no longer need to be carried, I will be carried. I will give myself to this bond, to flourish and continue for as long as we have one another.
Recently my roller-skates changed. The wheels twisted, the trucks shaking so bad I couldn’t stabilize. I got mad. I felt a little betrayed, maybe we were no longer meant for one another. Not giving up was an innate place, I couldn’t have decided otherwise. There is no such thing as severing such a union. After lots of trial and error to fix, replace and understand the disconnection, I took them in to be fixed at a local pro shop. It was an easy fix and out of the kindness of the man, who I will never doubt related to me and my skates, it was free. It was as if I had gifted my skates with wings. And, they in turn whispered to me “I’ve got you, go fly.”
Magically, that is exactly what I needed, when I needed it most. A gift returned ten fold. As adults we forget about the magic, we reject the innate innocent sense that we are connected to those things for which have given us hope and safety and shown us what the spirit feels like. Our lives go so fast that nostalgia is something to not be bothered with, it’ll slow us down, get in our way and take us somewhere that doesn’t exist anymore. While that may be true to some extent, it’s not the place that nostalgia is reminding us of, it is the feeling. When we honor that which carried us, whatever form that may have taken, we are reconnecting to feelings of hope, love and gratitude…places in our speedy lives that we need to be reminded to come from. To the things that carry us.