Only when people are under duress do you really see their true selves.
That Nor’ester that dumped two feet of snow on us is a prime example. I waited a tad too long to get out there and as a result, then untouched snow was nearly up to my knee and the plowed stuff rose to mid-thigh. Before long, I ran out of places to put the it, which slowed me down considerably. I had to take shovelful after shovelful and stagger down the walk to the other side of the house to find a semi-clear spot to dump it.
Making things even more fun was the fact that the plows seemed to be afraid of the curb. The heaviest and deepest mounds stretched far into the road and because of how densely packed it was, I couldn’t just leave it. So out into the road I went. It didn’t take long for my arms to ache and my legs to shake. Looking at my pathetic progress was disheartening. I tried to just keep my mind on the current load but that was tough to do when I had two cars and two sets of stairs to clear.
My landlord is an elderly fellow and I’m happy to say that not once during my hefting of the heavy wet white stuff did I feel indignant. Nor did I continue on with the thought of some compensation in mind. No, I shoveled us both out because I knew it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t fathom simply shedding myself from the blanket of snow and leaving him; Not even when the plows came by to bury the end of the driveway with heavier and wetter snow just after I had just cleared it.
To be fair, I did end up with a reward. I was a little more than halfway done, when the Landlord’s daughter showed up and gave me a hand. She helped me finish and then helped clear the cars off. Then she thanked me with heartfelt sincerity and that was reward enough. The feeling of being thanked is truly special. It just makes me feel right, as if my mind and my heart are in agreement.
I sat and stared at that last night for a solid minute. I was trying to puzzle out how you, dear reader, would take that. Being a guy, would you think me soft and weak? Being a poet would you think me lacking poetic imagery? In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. The line is true and that’s what’s important. While, it’s sad that there are many out there that would shovel out just themselves, I take heart knowing that if I can put in the right effort to shovel out more than my share, then there are others out there that will as well.