Snow- like grief, like trauma, like shame

I move it away one shovel at a time, clearing the path so I can move forward. Or backward. So I can move.

Sometimes, I clear just enough for my own footsteps. A narrow path. Too tired for the width of it. The weight of it, too heavy. I can lift it up, but I can’t toss it to the side. I try to take the easy way, and as I slide the shovel along the ground too quickly, I get snagged on a bump, on a lump, on a stone. I am stopped, blocked and shocked, as I ram into my own fists on the handle. A gut punch. It leaves me breathless.

Sometimes the conditions are favorable and the sun, so bright, reflects on a diamond field of white, and the temperature is just right, and the snow feels oh, so powdery light. I plow a clean wide path and amble about. Every bit of snow removed, down to the ground.

I know that if I don’t clear it all away, the remnants will be there. Bits will freeze over. Harden. They will get covered, compounded, by more snow. Become near impossible to move. The energy needed to chip away, on another cold gray day, will be much more than what I might expend today.

I may even forget it’s under there for a while, but each small snowfall in the future will build upon this icy hard formation. I will slip on it, trip on it, over and over again all winter, all winter. All winter, until the spring, until the thaw. Until the heat of extended direct sunlight brings it back down to the blacktop.

I know, I know I have to take my time. Deal with it as it falls, as it rises. Clear as much of it as I can away, now. In anticipation of forecasted future accumulation. Find a better shovel. Ask someone for help. Do the necessary work.

So that in the future, making a clear path might be easier. Or at least it might not be harder than it has to be. So I can move.

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