“Doctor’s say men over 45 shouldn’t shovel snow because of an increased risk of heart attack,” the morning news droned from the television. “Well that’s not good to hear,” I said. I looked outside at a foot of freshly fallen snow as I put on my coat. I didn’t have just a single driveway to clear either. I needed to shovel out paths down my hill to my cars and over to my daughter’s house. I had two porches to clear, two cars to clean off, and two driveways to shovel. I also needed to shovel out a good spot for our short-legged dogs to pee and poop outside.
I sighed, zipped up my coat and stepped outside. The temperature was a bone-biting 2 degrees Fahrenheit and a brisk breeze was blowing too. I felt the icy air hit my lungs and I licked my chapped lips. I grabbed my snow shovel and bent down to shovel out the first path. I knew this was going to take quite a while and said a little prayer that my 55 year old back would hold out.
Bend, shovel, lift, drop I went as I slowly worked my way through the snow and cleared out the paths, porches, and driveways. I stopped from time to time to breath in the cold air, look around, and take in the beauty of God’s winter wonderland. I went inside only once to warm my frozen fingers and switch to a thicker pair of gloves. But then it was back outside to finish the job. It took well over an hour to do it all. When I was done I smiled and watched my frozen breath float away. The good news is that my heart beat strong and didn’t attack me at all. My back stayed intact. And the only time I did fall down was to make a snow angel in the yard.
In this life we are constantly flooded with fears and scary news. Through it all, though, it is good to remember a few things. God loves us! This is God’s world. And we are all here for a purpose. We are here to Love. We are here to help God save this world. We are here to cherish each and every day we have, even if it does involve shoveling a foot of snow.
Joseph J. Mazzella