Snow by Mayank Chhaya
This morning while shoveling snow I was not sure whether I was tripping over the uneven concrete sidewalks or my own mounting vituperation. As my railing intensified, so did the snow’s resentment at being shoveled.
The shovel frequently got stuck either in the joints between two concrete slabs or solid ice slabs. A couple of times the shovel handle stabbed me in my abdomen when it movement got jammed. That triggered a string of invectives I thought I had forgotten. At least snow is good for something—reviving my cuss vocabulary.
I have long held that Nature is bewitchingly beautiful as long as it does not get in your way. Then it is a damn nuisance. My contempt for shoveling snow is rivaled only mowing grass. The former makes me feel as if I am wiping Nature’s snot while the latter trimming its pubic hair. You get the drift.
It is probably my substandard winter gloves but absolutely nothing protects my fingers from a terrible burning numbness that mounts every second that I shovel. The only evidence that I have that I probably do not have a heart disease is that years of having shoveled, first in Newport, New Jersey and now in Chicago area, does not cause any discomfort in my chest. I have this vision of me dying frozen in snow, either of a heart attack, frostbites or excessive cussing or may be all three.
Unless one of us is inside an enclosure, either Nature or I, I think it will remain an adversarial relationship. Perhaps it is a most inopportune time to assess one’s feelings toward Nature but I think I like much less of it than I might admit. It is great within a certain temperature range. Above and below that it is a menace that I can do nothing about other than cussing it.
Now that I am back inside and looking out it looks bewitching all over again. Like I said one of us has to be inside a glass enclosure.