Writing Out Loud

Nature’s Disarming Smile

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For some reason, I never sleep well during a winter storm. That probably has its roots in the years I spent living alone in rural areas, where I had no choice but to deal with nature’s surprises all by myself. I toss and turn till it’s time to get up, and then I long for daylight so I can see what damage, if any, is out there. Even living here, where I shouldn’t have anything to worry about, I do. And I find myself still dealing, after all these years, with the same daunting tasks after a snowstorm as I did 10, 20, 30 years ago.
Thus this morning, I was up early to prepare myself for yet another stint of cleaning my car off for the purposes of moving it out of the way of the plows. Before I even tackled my own, however, a neighbor came over to inform me that the snowblower that keeps the walkways clear had once again buried her car under at least a foot of snow. I volunteered against her protests to help her out, and it didn’t take long for me to remove enough snow from behind her car to allow her to back it out and move it to clear area. After doing the same for my car, I came inside. But when I looked outside again, I noticed that another elderly neighbor was having all she could do to clear HER car off with a broom. So I headed over there to help her and ended up helping a few more neighbors in the process.
Needless to say, I was pretty stiff and sore after all that. I’m not young anymore myself, at least not according to my grandchildren, who think me ancient by their standards. I’ll be 67 in a few days and proud of the fact that I can still wield a snow shovel with the best of them. I’ve even joked that, in the time it takes the snow removal crew to talk about how to get the job done, I could have this whole place shoveled out. That might be a bit hyperbolic, but once I’m in the shovel-wielding mode, there is no stopping me.
After a cup of coffee and a hot shower, I sat in my room awhile looking outside. The sun was shining down on the trees out there, turning the snow on the ground between them and on their branches a pristine and blinding white. A squirrel ran across and up a tree, and crows cawed from the distance. Other birds, who’ve been singing their spring songs for some time now, were also hitting their best notes, and I even heard a raven’s deep throaty call from the distant woods.
There’s been a lot of moaning and groaning and gnashing of teeth lately where the weather is concerned. But for some reason, once my part in it is done and the world is once again accessible, I rest a lot easier and can even see the beauty in it. For which one of us by complaining can remove a single flake from the storm or alter the direction of a single wind gust? And if I’m not mistaken, spring has not let me down yet, arriving sometimes on cat’s feet and other time’s with a lion’s roar. Either way, it arrives, and will do so officially in just a few days now.
I will not be deterred. This, too, shall pass, and there WILL come a time when we’ll forget it ever happened, only to face another winter when it will, all over again and again and again…
Speaking purely personally, I don’t have a lifetime left to me to enjoy nature, her wiles and wickedness included. So I intend to continue to take  what some consider to be the bad with the good. Because in the end, no matter how naughty she’s been, nature is no more than a sweet child who has the ability to melt hearts with a single smile.

Author: raelove1950

I've been writing personally and professionally for over 40 years, and recently started writing books for Amazon Kindle. During the last 25 years, I have also written for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine; the Maine Sunday Telegram in Portland, Maine; Current Publishing in Westbrook, Maine; and the Reporter, a weekly newspaper based in Waterboro, Maine. I recently released a book entitled "From the Urban Wilderness: Life in the Southern Maine Woods," which is a collection of essays taken from a weekly column I wrote for the Journal Tribune from 2010 to 2016. It is available from Amazon.com and CreateSpaceStore.com .

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