The other day I watched through the window as an older lady and her caregiver navigated the narrow path of dry, bare pavement that etched its way through our snowy, ice-packed street. The older lady was using a walker to aid her steps and all of the sudden I remembered:
This picture was taken the day of my hospital release 8 years ago this June. I can’t see my messed up foot and nasty elbow wound. I can’t see the broken ribs. I can’t see the fiery hot brain; the confusion and fear. But I remember.
Here in Anchorage the sun’s been out this week. The ever increasing daylight hours in the shape of sunshine did significant work on our frozen landscape. The picture perspective is not great, but last Friday afternoon I noticed the bohemian waxwings were drinking from the icy puddle in the center of our street:
A couple days later my boys took their bikes out to test the steadily improving conditions.
￼Inspired by the singing birds (and 40 degree mark on the thermometer!!!) I went out midweek and began chipping and shoveling the 2-3 inch layer of snow/ice that’s covered our sidewalks for months. Behold! Bare pavement!
It’s actually been a several day project; this sidewalk clearing. The snow/ice combination was really packed tough in spots. But the glorious sun continued its work and I persistently showed up each afternoon to chip and shovel wherever the sun gave me advantage. Tonight I finished the last bit. Our sidewalks are clear!
Tomorrow it’s supposed to snow several inches. A whole new layer of snow and perhaps it’ll seem as if nothing has changed. But I was thinking…..
1. Tonight I have blisters from shoveling. Even as my skin broke and my hand bled, I breathed sunshine. I walked in clean dry places.
2. In these recent winter months I learned to drive through piles of snow. I wore boots and hats and gloves and coats. (And Skhoops!) I carried my groceries across parking lots blanketed by ice and snow and slush and slop. The nights were long. The days were very very cold. I may not have wanted to live those particular days and nights and the myriad challenges they presented. But I chose to lean into them. And I moved through them. Along the way I skied and learned to recognize birds. I skated on ice and watched moose amble through our yard. I stood beneath the Northern Lights as they danced across the great big Alaskan sky.
In the middle of a hard patch it sometimes feels like I’ll never make through. But in fact, I’ve just to turn around to see. There are always handholds. A place to set my anchors. A new angle for approach. I will make it through. Even if it snows tomorrow.