In the pauses

“Only in the pauses between things, in the brief contemplative spaces of just being, can we catch a glimpse of love itself.”
Gerald G. May, The Awakened Heart

I was up early this morning, clearing the overnight snowfall from the driveway in anticipation of the next storm, which is slated to start tonight and continue through Monday into Tuesday morning. The NOAA site is predicting 8 to 14 inches for our area.

The streets in the village have taken on the appearance of Olympic luge runs, with snow piled high on either side; the surrounding wooded hills sit in sentinel silence, dusted with confectionery sugar.

As I herringboned the driveway with the snow shovel, a gaggle of Canada geese passed by low overhead. You could hear their wings beating the air, and for several seconds the sporadic honking was deafening. I paused to watch them melt into the morning greyness of sky, thankful for a minute of rest before resuming my Sisyphean task.

The long winter of our discontent is not without its moments of common grace.


The master map described our plight:
The snow would start half through the night,
Continue on, come morning light,
And taper not until the night.

We woke to white flakes falling down,
Which blanketed the entire town,
While inside comfort, warmth and bed
Held us in our homey stead.

I donned my cap and coat and boot
And leashed the puppy’s rough cut suit;
Together ready, both astute,
We bounded down the powdered chute.

Being small, she couldn’t abide
The heavy drifts on either side;
We made it halfway down the street
Before she shook on frozen feet.

I picked her up and held her close,
Then turned and headed to the house,
Retracing steps through heavy blow
And biting, needling, stinging snow.

Back inside the kitchen warm,
I paused to brush a whitened arm,
Then headed back outside to clean
The heavy drifts from winter’s scene.

Two hours I worked; with shovel cut
The deepest swaths down to the rut,
While at my back the neat trimmed track
Filled up again with powder flak.

Into the house I frozen stomped
With little circumstance and pomp;
Pulled off my boots and tossed my scarf
Across the chair just by the hearth.

The call came through, announcement made:
Another day of work was stayed.
Elated then, without a sound,
I sat and read his poem, Snow-Bound.


2015©Brian T. Maurer