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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

January 21, 2012

There is a certain type of person, usually, but not always, a man, who loves to venture out in the wilds of winter and do “manly” things, like shovel the snow from their sidewalk.

There is a certain satisfaction in clearing the front sidewalk. Of keeping nature at bay, and demarcating property lines (heaven forbid should I shovel my neighbour’s walk! I made that mistake once and was asked, politely, not to do it again. My neighbour didn’t want to feel “beholden” to returning the favour.)

Shovelling the snow comes with visible tangible results. You are master of your universe. “A job well-done”, and all that middle-class protestant nonsense. And it’s a bit of exercise. (Assuming you don’t have a heart attack in the process.)

After which I can trundle back into the house and unburden myself of layers of clothes and say in a manly voice “someone get me a coffee!”

For I am a man!

Hear me shovel!

So it is with a slight desperation that I watch a few of my neighbourly men out this morning shoveling the 1cm (yes, one centimetre) of puffy snow we got last night.

They create the illusion of shovelling. The illusion of struggling with nature.

And, I might add, doing this with a weather forecast calling for above average temperatures over the next few days. (By the time I had returned from the bake shop the sun had already melted the snow on my front steps.)

But the urge to shovel is primal. If somewhat desperate at times.

The accountants, journalists, and the paper shufflers I saw out this morning warding off last night’s winter apocalypse need to feel the grip of the handle in their hands. Their shoulders bent against the forces of nature.

They need their walkways clean and dry.

They need to be able to walk back into their homes, and close and lock the door behind them, and say with delightful satisfaction “I am the master of my Domain – someone get me a coffee…”

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