I love shovelling snow.
I have never been fond of exercise; any periods of physical fitness I’ve enjoyed have been accidents of circumstance. For a while I pumped iron, dutifully. I’ve walked, dutifully. But I love shovelling snow.
One midnight, after a twenty-four inch snowfall and an argument with my husband, I shovelled for hours under the stars – it was beautiful. Calm, quiet and cold, the shovel crunching against the pavement, foot after foot of sidewalk yielding to my efforts. I felt strong, purposeful, effective.
Just managing daily life in snow used to give me this feeling – the snow was a challenge. I looked forward to the extra work of walking through snow and climbing over the snowbanks to get on the bus. It was work with a purpose, that left me tired, perhaps, but with a sense of accomplishment.
Now snow is imprisoning, frightening, dangerous. I try to figure out ways to avoid it. Walking in snow is a muscle-wrenching, mind-numbing balancing exercise, like walking across a glacier. Wheeling in snow is a frustrating exercise in lack of access.
I miss shovelling snow.