Snow Globe

In the world outside a double hung window, today is a bright and beautiful day!

What, you think not? Outside, there is a snow globe with the authenticity of a vintage card.

In the distance, a wind-blown plume rises from a snowblower hidden among piles of snow that climb higher and higher.

Momentarily, my heart plummets. Today it would be easy to hide inside my comfort zone, writing, baking, wishing to keep appointments but allowing the ever-growing snowbanks to hold me captive, and wondering how to out maneuver the polar vortex with its ever increasing onslaught of fluffy whites.

Cabin fever is taking shape.

A second Code Red Alert in two days demands that residents stay off the hazardous roads and prepare for sub-freezing temps. I consider my readiness to wield the snow shovel, especially considering a recent bout of tennis elbow. Why am I reluctant to go out into the snow globe? Judging by photos snapped from an open door, there are already sixteen inches on the ground and they are heavy with moisture. But wait. Another eight inches is coming! Shovel I must.

Little do I know that a spiritual revolution is also beginning to take shape. Breaking out of the cabin and roaring down an open drive is more than a dream. Motor freedom is critical to our survival in this modern age. So are sidewalks that are open to navigation.

This time I will defeat Mother Nature. I will keep the sidewalks open. How? By employing the best-kept secret I have to defeat overwhelming situations… a ‘can do’ attitude.

I don four pairs of thermal leggings,  three-inch-thick mittens with metallic ski liners, and check to see if my warming solution – brandy – still lives in an abandoned dishwasher, a cache maintained year to year only as a protective mechanism to guarantee that I carry out the hideously lonely job of snow removal. Retrieving a media device loaded with music from a table beside the door, I look back with reluctance at the warm, comfortable living room as if for the last time.

I am a woman on a mission. I can do this. Never mind that the music stops playing every time the headphones move. Restoring a music connection is a powerful thing that is easily done in a small moment. Disregard that the dishwasher containing the brandy is only abandoned because it needs fixing; the drain overflows on a consistent basis and floods the kitchen floor because the sink drain doesn’t work all the time. Then again, I have to disregard the image of a comfy, energy robbing recliner inviting me to snuggle beside the fireplace.

Comparing the snow emergency to other life crises that need attention elevates the driveway to top priority. I could go on endlessly listing potential barriers. Yet, having bolstered my ‘can do’ attitude with warm clothes and lively music to brighten my soul, I begin to shovel.

My commitment lasts for five minutes, until… voila, a hot new neighbor comes out to help. Two fellas snowplowing the drive next door see my plight and launch enthusiastically into the shovel brigade. Afterward they receive my warmest blessing, but none one of them will accept compensation beyond a simple thank you for their help and companionship.

Shoveling went well. Back inside in less than ten minutes, I forgot all about the promised comfort of sipping brandy. The dishwasher remains shut for another year.

I stare through a window at the now open driveway, closing the blinds halfway to filter out a bright glare. Slowly a realization breaks through.

From time to time, I need to step outside my circle of comfort.  I need to let go of my staunch independence, reach out, and let others help. Helping me meets their needs too.

There are times when all I have to do is approach a challenge with a light-hearted smile, ready to plunge in, do my part, and hope the rest falls into place. Sometimes this works, other times it does not. When’s it’s all over, though, I will want to have done my best to effect a positive outcome.

The point? Gloom and doom cannot get us down if we remember to look for a bright spot on the flip side of every challenge. Pitfalls often conceal payoffs. Everyday miracles abound in the pitfall zone. It is easy to overlook those blessings and other small, yet significant, life offerings that we find after climbing from life’s inevitable potholes. Counting blessings is another way of expressing gratitude, which, in turn, gives rise to strength and resiliency and a savvy knowing that even a kind and gentle spirit can handle bad along with the good.

Surrender to your life dreams that wait in the spectacular world outside the double hung window.

… Carolyn Tody

Quote of the Day ~ “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” … Anne Frank