Religion of the Player

Our temple
is the arena.
Our shrine
is the ice.
Our skates,
are the Holy texts.
Our equipment
is our prayer robes.
The moment
those doors open,
as the cold air
caresses the face,
mysterious magic
overwhelms the body.

That first sound,
that smooth crackle,
of sharp skates
on still-wet ice,
are our church bells.
They mark the start of the service.

It becomes loud
with praises of joy
and excitement.
The whistle blows.
The teams chant,
then break.

There is silence.

But this silence
is not
silent.
Energy
and
anticipation
crackle and spark
through the air—
The atmosphere electric.

The puck is dropped.
Our worship
has begun.

The worship
of our game
Of our lives.
The worship
of those who
played before us
and for those who
will play after us.

This is no ordinary game.
This is no ordinary religion.
This is our source of life.
This is our source of light.
This is
hockey.

Chris McEwen

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