Thursday, 20 January 2011

What is it about Ice???

Another cold one today-barely above freezing all day and the fog never did lift. So much to Wh's delight the bird bath was frozen when he got home. Only a thin layer maybe 2 or 3 mm thick but enough for him to spend half an hour exploring it.

He started by tentatively breaking the sheet into smaller pieces-one of which looked like a dagger so was used to pretend he was a rampaging pirate. Then he realised when he dropped the ice it shattered, so started to experiment how hard he needed to throw it before it broke into really small pieces, he'd clearly been paying attention to a conversation with his Dad last night about 'force'!! (For the safety conscious amongst us Wh and I did have a conversation about when and where you are allowed to throw things before he got too carried away.)

Once all the ice was scattered across the road he thought he would investigate how cold the water that was left was, by dipping his foot in, school shoes and all-at which point I decided enough exploring for today!

The whole thing left me wondering what is it about ice that we want to test it with our weight, watch it crack, and enjoy throwing things onto it. All through the cold spell the canal near to us was frozen and the debris on the top was astounding by the time it started to melt-people, yes adults included, seem compelled to try to break it.

I worked with some young people recently and they spent a happy hour smashing the ice on the (nearly empty/under renovation/no wildlife in it) pond. The energy they expended turned them from angry and unhappy to calmer and able to verbalise their emotions. Yes it appeared destructive and negative but that's how they were feeling!!

I enjoyed breaking the ice too, but I was also able to enjoy its splendour, holding large sheets up to the sunlight and seeing the patterns created there. The students weren't ready for the beauty yet-but hopefully after a few more sessions working on their anger, they can start to really see for the first time some of the wonderful nature that  surrounds them...