My mother has always believed in guardian angels. I’m not exactly sure why. She’s not the type of person to dwell on things that are speculative or things that are supernatural. She is academic by nature – having taught at all levels of the education system for decades – and her personality is enticed by the concrete facts. But she has always believed in and talked about guardian angels.
It was winter and I was about 6 years old. My family went down to the local reservoir, which was only two blocks away, and we strapped on our ice skates. I had just received some new double-bladed ice skates for Christmas and was eager to try them out. I had never been skating before. Since it was January, and this was high elevation Northern Utah, it wasn’t necessary to be too careful. The ice was thick and hard.
“Just don’t go near the shore” my mom warned me. “The ice is thinner near the shore.”
I had no problem with that, I didn’t need to go near the shore. I played with my sisters who were skating in figure eights and doing different dances. They were eleven and twelve; so they were much more capable and graceful than me. Eventually I got bored.
Being the scientific soul that I was, I decided I needed to go exploring. I’d never been on a frozen lake, and there were definitely going to be some cool things to discover.
I walked through the snow until I eventually had crossed about the distance of a football field and came to this strange dome of ice. It was naturally occurring, about a foot and a half in height, clear, and an almost perfectly shaped cylindrical dome.
What had caused it? I knew that ice forms at the top of water, but not above it. Ice is heavier than air, and so there was no rational explanation as to why this dome would exist. I inched closer to inspect it more thoroughly.
I don’t remember much. I certainly don’t remember cold while I was in the water, and I know I wasn’t in the water for more than ten seconds. My father was a large man, and he had me out of the water immediately, which certainly required some running since I was so far away. My mother grabbed the car and had it on the dike almost as fast. We sped home and my mom drew a hot bath for me while I got out of my wet snow clothes
That was the first time I fell through the ice on our lake.