The thing I love about my world are the contrasts.
My friends provide many, weaving a colourful tapestry around me of different political persuasions and religions.
Some are married, others remain single, some are housewives, others more career driven.
All of them offer precious experience and counsel from different directions.
Then there’s my teenager, her eyes still innocent compared with my sometimes jaded view.
I’m delighting in her thrill of earning a little more independence, sharing in her discoveries, her dramas and her joys.
Her pace is full pelt, a contrast to my elderly father whose pace is beginning to slow.
Yes, life is full of wonderful differences and opposites, all offering a marvelous kaleidoscope of colour and vibrancy.
This struck me last Saturday night as I shared a packet of lollies with my daughter while watching some of her mates perform.
The previous Saturday I was at the opening of La Traviata Sydney harbour, a night of dazzling opera, designer gowns and French champagne.
This time I was at North Ryde, at the Macquarie Centre Ice Rink watching a show where tickets were $20 a pop, not $200, the dress code was more hoodies and jeans, the nibbles were chips and fanta and the program cost just $2.
Oz On Ice is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, and it was Macquarie’s first iceskating show for more than a decade.
Publicity for the show was word of mouth and a few posters scattered around the rink.
Mums and grandmas formed a sewing bee to make the costumes and the sound, a bit crook at times, was recorded.
On the rink however, there were enough stars to dim even the best of ifTraviatanf.
The names performing the lead roles probably didn’t mean much to the uninitiated, but everyone sensed they were witnessing something very, very special.
Because there on the ice were Australia’s best, national champions, international reps and Olympic competitors, most of whom were teachers and coaches at the rink.
Michael Pasfield as the Wizard was one, an unassuming man in a glittering gold-sequined jacket whose daughters Zara and Katie were also performing.
I had no idea of the technical terms for the spins, pirouettes and heart-stopping jumps he performed.
But no one needed to explain the backward flip he somersaulted from out of nowhere, his nose seemingly grazing the ice as he spun through.
The audience couldn’t help but gasp. “He’s a world champion,” my teen explained. “Oh yeah, and he toured Australia with Torvill and Dean.”
This humble man, this coach dressed as a Wizard.
In contrast, there was the three-year-old munchkin dressed as a turtle, his little legs going 100kms an hour as he skated in a run to keep up.
When another tiny tot fell, Toto glided by and scooped her up.
That would be Aimee Hartog, a worldclass ice dancer and national champion.
I cheered and clapped, just as I did for La Traviata a week before, but again, I appreciated the difference.
This was no $11.5 million production, but the joy it gave was something more. It was priceless.