It snowed here late this afternoon. Just before dark I went out to shovel the driveway. I can be heard saying on many a cold day, “I hate being cold”. The thing is though I love going out in the dark and shoveling snow, light and dry snow or heavy and wet snow I love to shovel the snow.
Even though cars may whiz down the road or even the snow plow might come blundering along there is something about falling snow and the darkness of early evening that brings me silence and few thoughts within my head.
I love this moment where time just seems to hover around me. I’m bundled up against the chill, and I move slowly to push the snow off the drive. I like to make this time alone last as long as I can. Even when my youngest comes out to help, I feel as if I am alone, in my own little snowy world. He can talk to me and I will answer yet I feel the silence of the snow. It surrounds me and goes within me.
This is why I clear off the car after I have finished the shoveling. I walk back up to the house and lightly lay the shovel against the side of the house and walk back to my car and pull out the brush and ice scraper. As I brush the snow from my little red car it smacks down to the pavement I just cleaned off. I know that I will walk once again slowly up to the house, take the shovel in my hand and once again clear the pavement around my car where I just brushed all the snow. This is how I love to do it, because it keeps me alone and in silence a just a little longer.
I am wearing still the boots of my dead friend Kim. She’s been gone for eight years now. I bought her boots the summer after she died when her husband sold them for $3.00. The last time beautiful memory I have of her is playing in the snow. These boots are a little too tight and I like that, because it makes me remember Kim every time it snows. The tightness of the shoes is the tightness of my heart remembering.
I finish the shoveling and walk back to the house. It is still snowing lightly and as I put the shovel once more against the house I lean against the post which holds the patio roof. I lean there in the silence of the snow hoping to make the silence last just a little bit longer.
Here in this silence of the snow I feel the presence of the dead. Here in this moment time hovers around me. There is peace in the silence of the snow, as I remember Kim smiling and laughing and playing in the snow.