There is so much snow. I don’t mean right now, I mean this winter. There has already been so much snow. So much cold, so much white, so much… Every time my back is soar from shoveling, or my muscles ache with the exertion I think about how all this snow will make my little vegetable garden that much more successful, how the Great Lakes will be full, how the apple crop will exceed lasts years.
And oh how my muscles twinge and ache. I’m grateful for my physical body for the fact that I can indeed shovel (though truth be told if the piles get much bigger I won’t be able to reach the top.) I’m grateful that with every shovelful of snow I move out of my driveway I am carrying on a legacy that my dad started. Indeed friends, the reason I really don’t mind shoveling all that much is because it reminds me of my dad and it reminds me how he taught me that love is something we show people, in the simple every day moments of our lives.
Growing up I didn’t spend as much time as dad shoveling, but occasionally I went out to help the man, and those are some really great memories, for what started out as team shoveling, always ended up with snow being thrown at each other and dumped on each other’s head when their back was turned. Plus the times we were out there, clearing the sidewalks, we talked about life, nature, God, science. And, dad taught me the importance of taking care of the people around you, as he always shoveled the elderly, and single mom’s driveways of the people in our neighborhoods.
That’s why I don’t mind shoveling. Because when I shovel I know I’m loving my own family and husband (who’s asthma makes shoveling very difficult), I know I’m taking care of our sweet older lady neighbor, and if I have the time (I’m muc
h slower then my dad) my friend and single mom across the street. I feel like these simple acts of kindness show the world that it’s not that hard to be nice, to care for each other. I’ve noticed that after several winter’s of shoveling some of the men will take the time to blow out the sidewalks for everyone with their snow blowers. It might not have anything to do with me, but I like to think that if someone sees a lady shoveling a walk way for the postwoman they might think, “hey I should do that too, save her a lot of time delivering all that mail if she can cut across everyones lawns.” (I call this the postmen’s walk, it’s my own creation and I’m hoping it catches on).
I just think people don’t realize how something small can make an entire neighborhood a better place to live. Or that when the Bible tells us to take care of the elderly and love our neighbors there are really simple every day ways to do that.
That’s what all those winters of watching my dad shovel taught me, and he never said a word about it, or expected anything in return, just did it with a smile of his face. That same smile that nearly split my face in two when my four-year old came out with his small shovel (purchased by my dad, of course), bundled up so he could hardly move, to “help” me shovel. He mostly just moved snow from my pile, back into the driveway but he was so proud of himself… Then when I turned around he lobbed a small shovel full of snow at my back…This is what it’s all about you know? Life, the magic of every day. And, it’s just so beautiful.