Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just Shoveling Snow

It has been one of those days when one shovels snow and shovels snow and shovels snow, then shovels it all one more time when the village snowplow rumbles down the street, tidies the verges and puts all the snow back in one's lane. The driver of the snowplow smiled at me as he drove by today, and practicing loving kindness and Buddhist detachment, I smiled back at him, then picked up my snow shovel again.

There are small gifts everywhere on days like this one: the swish of the snowplow as it passes along the street, the smile of the driver (who was very surprised to get a smile from me in return), laughing conversations with neighbors who are out in their own lanes moving snow about and friends who go by with their dogs and stop to talk for a few minutes. From time to time, it was so quiet today that I could hear the snow falling and coming to rest in my old crabapple tree, and the tree itself was a thing of beauty in its pristine white cloak.

I would not have missed this day for anything, although my elderly muscles are protesting vigorously this evening. Shoveling snow can be a graceful exercise when done properly and in the right frame of mind - the rhythmic swing of the arm holding the shovel, the perfect arc of the snow as it flies through the air and lands in glistening heaps beyond the lane. Perhaps this winter has gone on too long - here I am, waxing ecstatic about snow.


Shelli said...

My husband is from Chicago, and he tells me that his father always made him shovel the snow from their driveway, and he hated it. I have lived in a warmer climate most of my life, so I have never had the pleasure of shoveling snow.

Suzanne said...

Hi Cate,

I received the link today for this delightful YouTube video of a dog who dearly loves snow and plows in over her head, jumping about. Turn on the sound, too, there's nice music to go with it.

I hope you enjoy it!


Anonymous said...

Having moved from central NY state after many years to the mild climate and urban environs of Washington DC, I'm surprised to find how much I miss snow. And yes, even shoveling it. But what moved me most about your post was the smiles exchanged between you and the snowplow driver - and how it's surprising. Makes all the difference, doesn't it? Here in the city, I like to smile at the garbagemen ("sanitation workers") and deliverymen on my way to work.

~Flaneuse in DC