21 March 2015

Snow and Shovelling and Prayer

Some of you may know that the east coast of Canada has had a difficult winter.  Not quite true - up until the end of January, we had almost no snow.  But since February, we have probably averaged 2 storms per week - some of them just snow, and some of them snow followed by rain followed by a flash freeze leaving lots of ice behind.

This week has been no different.  Between a snow storm last Sunday that dumped 30cm of snow and a second storm on Tuesday night and Wednesday that dumped another 75cm of snow, I have been doing a lot of shovelling.  School was closed for two days (Wednesday and Thursday), and even if I wanted to go anywhere, I couldn't since public transit was shut down for two days and I didn't finish shovelling out the driveway until Friday afternoon.  We are having another storm tonight, and I am praying that most of it falls as rain (the forecast is a bit uncertain - it might be rain or it might be snow or it might be both) since there I have run out of space to shovel the snow to!

Thursday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours outside shovelling snow, and it was a beautiful day.  It was sunny with blue skies, the temperature was hovering right around 0, I had to wear snow pants for wading through the deep snow, but my coat was definitely unzipped.  And as I worked away, one shovelful after another, I was singing Taize chants.

Confitemini Domino
Quoniam bonus.
Confitemini Domino,
(yes, I know it's Lent - don't hate me - I needed something uplifting to sing!)

Crucem tuam adoramus Domine,
Resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine.
Laudamus et glorificamus,
Resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine.

I was ready to sit down and cry when I saw how much snow there was to shovel.  I was ready to throw up my hands in despair.  I was ready to hide myself away and not go out again until summer.

I needed reminding that the snow is a nuisance and nothing worse.

I needed reminding that in the cycle of things, spring will come.

And in the end, I was reminded that "laborare est orare."  (work is prayer)  As I sang, I ended up breathing and swinging the shovel in time with the music.  The shovelling became the prayer.  And it was a good day.

(I know I left a car somewhere out here last night…) 

(Looking down the driveway towards the street) 

(With the shovel for a bit of perspective - almost done!) 

(Looking back up the driveway.  Like I said - running out of places to put the snow!)

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