When we get a good snowfall my husband & I dive right in to shoveling to avoid the pain of procrastination. We’ve honored our unspoken agreement to immediately remove the snow off our driveway & deck for almost 32 years.
Last week the 6 inches of snow we were to receive turned out to be 14.
Though my shoveling partner was out of town, my spirits were high as I set out to do my job.
Shoveling is rather therapeutic for me. It is a way of meditation, a simple rhythmic routine. Being physically outside and breathing in fresh crisp air clears my head.
I quickly evaluated my task in the early morning quiet. I had the freedom to choose my own way of tackling this responsibility. Appropriately dressed & centered in my Breath, I began.
The quiet air around me echoed the smooth swoosh of my shovel on the pavement. I consciously walked each scoop over to the side of the drive & flipped it onto the growing pile.
Some of my first thoughts were of my Mother. I smiled & felt warm inside as I pictured her out shoveling, her green plaid scarf wrapped tightly around her head & mouth like a muzzle. She was the snow shoveler in our family.
She taught my sisters & I the fine art of clearing the walks, enjoying the beauty of the snow & creating a sense of accomplishment.
While focusing on my Mother and those happy memories my shoveling was smooth, consistent, & productive. I felt a patient pleasure in the progress I was making and in the dance of my own movements.
After a while, I looked up to evaluate what was left to be cleared & immediately felt discouraged at the wall of snow ahead of me. I even began to feel resentful of my husband enjoying himself in Mexico!
Stuck in fueling my thoughts with judgment & resentment, I began to attack the snow & fight with myself. Exhausted, I stopped to catch my breath.
Seeing the sun peeking through the trees humbled me and the fragrant scent of pine refreshed my attitude. Reminded of the gifts that surrounded me, I felt grateful for my health & ability to even shovel in the first place.
Physically clearing the snow acted as a metaphor, a reflection of my internal journey. Three hours later I finished my last scoop before steppingback to admire what I had accomplished. It was a job my Mom would have been proud to see!
And then I had that special feeling she was with me all along :-)
When have you stopped to take a breath & clear the snow?