Paradise may be found from the inside, looking out, on these winter days, when the bare-boned trees are covered with glistening ice and snow. But living in it is sometimes more challenging.
Running an errand for my office one day last week, I found myself face-planted in ice-encrusted snow after slipping on a glistening, icy sidewalk on the other side of town. Here is one thing I learned that day: when reasoning skills are gone, there is no way to realize it.
I walked in the busy street for a time, trying to recall where I had left my car. Later I learned that I had left my glasses behind in the snow.
I got in my car and drove. I realized I had ruined new pants, torn open at the knee, and that I was hurt. But I lacked the rational ability to realize that there is no way I should have been driving. The road signs were blurred and double, but I assured myself I could find my way.
A couple of winters ago, my niece was retrieving paperwork for the township which she serves as clerk. After gathering the bills and mail, she pulled the township door closed and as she took a step to leave, the ice from the metal roof let loose and hit her on the back of the head. She dropped the papers in her hands, the wind blowing them about. She chased after them in to a busy state route, something this intelligent and safety-minded young woman would never otherwise do. There was an angel looking after her that day.
On the day of my fall, I don’t remember much, but when I was told my daughter would be meeting up with me to go to the hospital, I kept repeating, “I have a daughter….I have a daughter?” I was insistent that I only had surviving sisters. The phone number I provided was the first one I ever would have memorized, a number changed when I was about 7 years old.
In this winter that does not want to end, snow and ice will soon be replaced by flood and mud, so take extra care to remain safe at work or play. One day soon the sun will shine with warmth again and then the wheels of spring work will begin to turn on farms everywhere.
For now, be patient and be safe.