Column, Living the Dream

Heaps of snow! And all the fun that comes along with it

By Merisa Sherman

I cannot stop looking out the window. The beauty of what is happening outside lures me in and captivates not only my mind but my entire soul. I cannot stop staring at the snow resting on the pine trees or even the white snowy shadows on the deciduous branches.

By Brooke Geery

It’s like Kahlil GIbran said: “Kindness is like snow — it beautifies everything it covers.”

My hands are wrapped around my mug of hot chocolate, just as my warm furry blanket is wrapped around my shoulders. My body leans against the window frame and I stare out down the valley.

I feel my breath begin to slow with the cold. My mind begins to fade and I can see everything and anything in that moment. Maybe it is the snow blindness, but the valley fades away until all I can see is white. Like the earth, my vision is covered in white and I am lost in the peace of it all. Time seems to stand still and I wonder if we will ever move from this very spot.

A plow truck rumbles in the distance, the crunching of the dirt road echoing down the valley and I awaken from my stupor with a start. I shake my head, unfreezing my brain from the peacefulness of the snowfall.

Ain’t nobody got time for lounging around on a powder day — there is skiing to be done!! There is fresh snow to play in!! I’ve got to get my big powder skis off the rack and get my booty to the mountain.

But first, I got to get my burrow on. I throw my insulated Carhartt overalls, seriously one of the greatest inventions in Vermont home ownership, on over my pajamas. I grab my work gloves and push my body into the back door. It’s going to be a sweaty morning, I realize, as the door opens slowly against the snow. And then, I grab my favorite shovel. The yellow one with the articulated shaft. The one we got when I broke my arm, so it would be easier on me. Because I wasn’t going to not shovel.

I love to make paths in the snow, first to the cars, then around the cars, then out to the barn and to the propane tank. I do the back deck and the front deck and all the stairs in between. I’m like the voles that rip up our lawn all summer long, burrowing underneath the soil. But I burrow in the snow. I start with paths that are one shovel wide and build up from there. It’s a maze, these little paths, with big snowbanks places in appropriate piles so that perhaps later we can build an igloo.

The snow is getting heavy as the temperature begins to rise, but I am getting stronger. The piles are getting bigger and the paths are connecting in ways that perhaps I want to take a drone shot of all my hard work. I can feel the snow sticking to my hat and I know I’m going to be look like a drowned rat when I step back into the house. But I don’t care. I love unearthing the world from underneath the foot of snow that we got.

It’s like being at the beach as a child, but instead of that dinky little shovel now you have this big one that looks like a mini plow. And you’re no longer digging through the earth to China, now you’re uncovering your car or the pathways into your home. It might be different, but it’s still the same. I love it. I love the different patterns you get to make with every snowfall. I never shovel the deck the same way twice.

In its impermanence, snow becomes fun. There are no real lasting consequences of how you move the snow, as long as you can get out of your house safely, does it really matter if you put the pile on the left or right? What if you made one big pile instead of a bunch of smaller ones? What if you moved all the snow to one side of the house and made a ramp or a slide or an igloo where you could bring your hot chocolate? Or set aside some piles for making a snowman. Or a whole snow family …

As authors Marcia McFee and Karen Foster wrote in their book “Spiritual Adventures in the Snow”: “Play is a decision to delight in whatever comes our way.”

I love shoveling snow. And you know the best part about shoveling? Once it’s done, we get to head up to the mountain and play some more. Could there possibly exist a better reward for a job well done? Yeah, I didn’t think so. See you on the mountain!!

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