“I’m going out to shovel,” I yelled into the dining room where my husband was busy clicking away at his computer. He was working from home doing whatever it is he does as an accountant- a world I can’t quite get a handle on.
“I’ll do it,” he responded.
“Oh no! I need a break from this house,” I called out, already out the door and heading into the Bomb Cyclone.
As the garage door opened, I was greeted with a clean line of snow, at least a foot tall, that expanded as far as I could see. The cold air felt like freedom. The whirling wind a welcome break from the bickering and whining produced by my three cooped up children. Out in the storm, there were no hungry mouths to feed, boredom to squash, or spills to clean.
I made my first slice into the blanket of snow, feeling the weight on the shovel as I tossed it to the side and glanced at the driveway that all of a sudden seemed never-ending. I worked steadily, retreating into the garage whenever the wind got truly unruly. The novelty of the quiet and the cold air wore off quickly, yet I kept shoveling.
An hour later and about half way down the driveway, I contemplated quitting. My cheeks were frozen, my muscles sore. As the wind picked up again, something caught my eye. Another sign of life braving the elements, a bushy tailed squirrel.
I leaned into my shovel, watching this creature dive into the snow head first, as if into a pool, a great adventure. He’d spend some time under the snow,with only his excited tail breaking the landscape, before popping back up just to dive back in again. I watched in wonder until the squirrel either grew tired of the game or found what he had been searching for.
As I returned to the driveway, I imagined a graphic novel starring the squirrel and his adventures. The mental storytelling kept me busy until I reached the end of the driveway, where the heavy snow lay piled high from the plows that had already passed. I picked up my shovel and headed towards the house and chaos. I was ready to get my ideas down on paper.