We visited an ice castle in the mountains. Oh that sounds so wonderfully dreamy and fantastic and it was a site to behold. The castle was built over many days and includes slides, arches, towers, caves and tunnels. It took almost a month to create and about 10,000 icicles per day were harvested. The icicles were built and assembled alongside and over color-changing lights that created a breathtaking show. It felt as if the visitor had escaped to a far-off winter wonderland.
When we entered the castle, I tiptoed and carefully selected my steps so as not to disturb this frozen work of art. However, the size of the crowds were astonishing and as we proceeded through the castle I could see the influx of guests and hear the icicles fall and crunch. Some people even snapped off icicles to hold and for play. Of course this monstrosity of icicles was created for fun and enjoyment, not to whisper and tiptoe through but I couldn’t help noticing that while the structure was tall and massive and large enough to hold hundreds of people that it also was in another way much more fragile.
We too lead such a fragile existence. Over time and through our childhood and experience we grow and build a tough exterior. We do not come crashing down at every unkind word or hurtful conversation or broken relationship but it chips away. The hurt breaks off one icicle and then another and then another. Our core still stands however our being, our heart is changed one tiny moment or interaction at a time.
In the words of Holly Butcher, a 27 year old woman who recently lost her battle with cancer, “That’s the thing about life, it is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”