The snow fell. Fat fluffy flakes like a kid’s Gif. The trees were outlined white against a white/gray sky. The hills were draped in tulle clouds. It was quiet. The world was insulated against sound.
For three days a “snow on eyelashes” kind of magic surrounded us. And then it began to melt.
Because I lived in the North for nine years, I felt the urgency of changing the armature. I knew the melt and freeze was inevitable. I did not want to have an ice fort blocking in my car. I did not want to have a slide trough of ice leading to my front door.
So for every day I shovelled for an hour.
It is such an opening up when it snows. Like having a wet cloth on the face, the colder temperatures. And the neighbours reappear from their hot air caves. As I cleared the sidewalk, my neighbour came over and helped me. I went on to clear the next sidewalk where the couple is busy managing four children and, frankly, life.
The guy next door and I then went on to clear the walkway of my sister/friend (24 years and counting) who had put something out in the backish, hippish, thighish region. Usually she is so alert that she shovels the snow while it is still in the air.
Usually she is so thorough that not one patch of ice is ever found on her sidewalk.
And so I waved at the woman across the street with a little boy. I saw them getting out of the car and he is bigger. Since this summer he has entered another stage with another name to it: Baby to Toddler.
The pressure cooker of expectations and demands that we call a celebration has passed. Christmas is over. The snow comes almost as a “letting down” of tension, of the weather of gray pasty skies.
And the mind asks, “What now?”
Now is shovelling snow. Now is watching squirrels run along the tree branch highway. Now is seeing the stark outlines of the nest the crows built this summer in my 50 year old Maple tree.
It is time to establish new habits. It is time to align with new intentions. It is time to stop distracting, soothing, repeating unsuccessful habits.
As I stand in my front yard with my daffodil yellow snow shovel in my hand I say to myself, “It is time to stop dicking around at life.”
What is now is whatever you did in the past to bring it in.
Breathe and create. Clear the path. Make sure your vehicle can move. Don’t allow yourself to be blocked in, captured by the past.
Keep asking, “What now.”