Dashing Through the Snow . . . What’s So Funny About It?

red_dirty snow

2014-03-02 – Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh, o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way . . .


Maybe we’re laughing in December, but there’s nothing funny about it in March.

I have a tradition of wearing a Hawaiian shirt on March 1, but one look out the window told me that I would have to supplement my Hawaiian shirt in some way. And so I did. Under the shirt, I wore a sweatshirt turtleneck. Over the shirt I wore a bright yellow down-filled vest. Then I went out to walk the dog and shovel the freshly fallen snow.

Fresh snow in March is a deception.

My tracks are usually the first in the morning, but yesterday there was another dog walker ahead of me. And there was a distinctive pattern to the tracks—step, step,step, step, slide, slide, slide, step—revealing hidden ice that had formed from last week’s melt. Occasionally, there was more than a few slide marks, indicating a possible fall—or a near fall with a comical recovery.

December snow may be pristine and white. By March, the dirt and frozen slush that has accumulated in prior snowfalls is depressingly visible.

Like every Saturday when I’m out shoveling the walks, the Sabbath strollers were out. The thing that I’ve admired about the Sabbath strollers is that nothing stops them. Six days a week they work. On the seventh day, it stops. No matter what. Their Sabbath is a clean snow that masks all the slush and dirt—for a day. Years ago I tried to be a Sabbath observer, but it seems to take a community. I never was fully part of such a community. I don’t really fit in with that. There are costs for the choices we make in life.

In some years, wearing a Hawaiian shirt is a way to embrace spring. In some years, wearing a Hawaiian shirt is a way to wish it would finally come.

Hula girls and surf boards and palm trees.

Over a turtleneck. Under a down vest. With icicles forming on my beard. It looks ridiculous.

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