What the world needs now, are snow shovels, sweet snow shovels (and some love too).

In a season in which we have recently been made aware on the news of escalating fears of terrorist plots in England – the recent arrest of 12 individuals who have been closely watched – and for whatever reason deemed by the security forces over the big lake – to pounce in on them and give them a brief hiatus from society – I think people could use some good old fashioned kindness.

Might I suggest the international peace symbol – the snow shovel.  Growing up just a couple hundred yards across the river from the great state of North Dakota, I learned many things, but the one that always stuck with me is that you carry a shovel in your trunk when the snow starts falling.  You are bound to get stuck at some point (perhaps multiple times) in the duration of the long winter, and you don’t want to be stuck out in the cold, waiting for someone to rescue you (mind you this was also in the time where there were no cell phones and you were required to be more self reliant).  So Tuesday on my early morning venture to drop off the high schooler for departure on his 3 day ski trip, in a lack of sleep induced fog (at one point, I even sat there waiting to turn right on a red, when my son reminded me that I could go if I wanted to, ‘oh yeah, you can go right on red’, duh!  Neurons start firing again).  I was presented with a an opportunity, to practice at becoming a better person myself.

The drive was a cautious slow go, as I was newly aware of the coating of ice that formed on the car after only having it out of the garage for about 5 minutes.  On the return trip, visions of sugar plums danced in my head (actually, visions of my warm and comfy bed, were doing an all out congo).  Driving down one of the cleared curb to curb snow emergency routes, I spied a minivan stuck in the concrete berm that the plows leave in their wake blocking the lesser cross streets after nights first pass at the powder.  The vehicle had tried turning off (oh the folly, we’ve all been there) and got snowjammed halfway through the turn.  I slowed down and then realized I DID NOT HAVE A SHOVEL.  Flabbergasting.  And you all thought I learned something up there in North Dakota.  So foot off the brake and back  pressing on the gas, I accelerated realizing I was completely useless to the occupant and hoped someone else passing by would stop to help.  But then my conscience got the better of me.  People just don’t stop very often to help others out in this day and age.  So I did a drive by (not the violent kind).  A short stop in the alley by my house to snag my snow shovel from one of the mountains of snow surrounding our garage and headed back another mile or so from where I had come.  The vehicle was occupantless, I noticed on coming up, but then I saw a small figure looming in the distance heading my direction, snow shovel in hand.  I extended my olive branch, er, shovel, and helped dig the lady out.  Not much was in the way of conversation, I could tell by the timid English spoken briefly that the petite lady was utilizing it as a second language.  But who needs to understand what another is saying when the body language of another helping you out says it all.  Sometimes no words are necessary.

It reminds me of the first huge snowstorm we had this winter when people seemed to actually be driving courteously out on the roads.  Two lanes reduced to one, people would take turns on the road, stopping to let others pass.  You would even encounter some of the snow bandits who apparently just couldn’t let some good powder go.  I even saw one guy in a bright yellow truck, a good two or three days after the storm, near Fleet Farm in Oakdale, that still had a good foot of snow on top of his SUV and only appeared to have swooped out a small patch in front of his viewing area, preserving the rest of the snow around him.

But has this snow started to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths?  Already the novelty has worn off and we just want to get where we are going?  Taking chances swooping around others on the two ways going both directions when the snow has made it so there is really only one lane in each?  Has the lesson been lost?  Are people that caught up in the craziness that accompanies this time of year, stressed out beyond belief trying to find that perfect gift?  In that last mad dash against time to beat the clock that ticks towards December 24th?   

Here’s to hoping that the spirit of the season catches on and people start to find time for other human beings, to love and respect others belonging to our great sea of humanity.  Because if we truly did respect the value of all beings in humankind, I believe we would not be making bombs to blow each other up.  Perhaps cottage industries manufacturing snow shovels, but not bombs.

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~ by urbanwandernlust on December 23, 2010.

6 Responses to “What the world needs now, are snow shovels, sweet snow shovels (and some love too).”

  1. Good for you for going out of your way to help a stranger! I definitely don’t carry a shovel in my car, but that’s a great idea. Wearing boots sure helps, too. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Very cool site. I’m glad I found it. Thanks.

    • Thanks! Glad to hear it. Hope you’ll check back for more. Thanks for your tips on the My Little Nomads site – they have been very helpful as we plan our upcoming travels to Greece.

  3. I thought that, “THE SNOW SHOVEL” is poignantly written with such human insight, I am a bookworm who frequently has to carry a canteen but not with these ingenious reads. So will continue to read on……….

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