Poem: For M This Winter


Cloudless

endless blue glared down

Cheeks brushed by Goddess

frozen fingers

rubbing rouge on Her

still legged puppets

as they whirl and shiver

in endless white

Incessant snot

stuffed in pockets

The offering

given up

to the chill and burr

of footsteps frozen

crunching

The sounds of tiny edifice

falling in

crashing together

softly–fitting

And the tea

warming up the chill

melting the drops

of snow littered cold

that landed

and rode upon

this earthly form

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Photo : Calm


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So yes folks, this lovely picture was taken today as I slid down my mountain after my swim on my way to work. Peaceful, eh? It’s what we would like to believe just a couple of days before the official beginning of spring. Well, I sit here now typing with yet another impending snow storm headed our way! And believe me, I am not too happy.  I had really begun to think that maybe we had turned a corner as I began to see earth appear on my lawn. Of course there is still a foot of snow in spots, but I figured it was a good sign that the sun had melted it here and there. I was even brave enough to order special milkweed seeds to attract monarch butterflies to my yard this year! A lovely new project….but I’m beginning to fear we may be in an endless winter and they will never come. Maybe I should have ordered something to attract penguins instead?

But there is an interesting positive note that I discovered today I would like to share with all my blogging buddies and readers out there. When I left the house this morn, I was very verklempt (upset) that I would have to tell my fire Chief that I might not make it in tomorrow because of the storm. This was very difficult for me as I have always been a do or die sort of employee. I have great guilts about missing a day for any reason. Even after my accident I didn’t miss a day and now realize that was a stupid mistake. So during my swim I fretted about how I would tell him and in the end just decided to tell him the truth: I can’t leave my dogs for fear I would get stuck there. Plus I can’t ask my daughter to drive in that bad weather to take care of the dogs.

I checked the weather when I got in and the predictions continued to be bleak. So I marched in and told him my plan to stay in if it continued to look grim. What I did do though, was get coverage in case. He was a bit bothered, but not too bad and by the end of the day accepted it pretty well. But I still felt guilty.

Driving home I racked my brain about how I could make it work: could I go back and make my daughter sleep over? Could I find someone else? Could my other daughter stay if she didn’t go to work? And then I got home. My three dogs greeted me at the door and were so happy to see me. And suddenly I realized: why am I so worried? What is really important in my life? If I went to work and drove off the road and got hurt or worse, who would take care of them forever? Yes, I have an important job as a paramedic, but my life and the pets and people in it are important too. And for the first time in my life/career I let it all go and said: it’s OK to be home and I’m not going to feel badly about it AT ALL. I come first.

It’s funny how long we may come to these realizations. Or that it might take a little puggle looking up at you to make you realize it.  It’s all cumulative I suppose. Everything in our lives brings us to the points of realization and our AHA moments. At least we get there at some point even it takes a long time.

So if I wake up in the morning to 8 inches of snow and it’s still falling, then I will take the dogs out and go back to bed. Or if they are wrong, and it’s nothing I will go off to work and rejoice!

Nor’easter


Well folks I’m battening down for a big storm heading our way. I wimped out and decided to take one of my many, many vacation days coming to me and not go to work tomorrow. I am squirming with guilt, as this is something very new to me, but I am doing it anyway. I’ve always been one of those ‘do or die’ sort of employees, feeling as though the show couldn’t go on without me. Especially in the job I have now, being one of two full-time employees. And also in the field I’m in: as a medic where we’re out when everyone else is hiding inside in the bad stuff. Well, that has all changed for me.

Since my accident, I see the world from the other side now. I’ve come to value the fact that I don’t have to be the hero all the time anymore. My commute is very long and the drive is tough just to get to work. When I go, I leave my home, my kid and my pets vulnerable too. Somehow that bothers me far more now than it used to–we all seemed more invincible before. I felt like I would let everyone down if I wasn’t there, even though I knew very well that during huge snow storms often call volume is very low. Or they are silly calls that people make simply because they don’t want to drive themselves to the hospital. We become the giant taxi with lights.

So I am finally making myself and my family a priority. Wow, that only took 50 plus years! And as my Mom used to say: chase the guilt fairy away! I’m trying…but it’s not easy. She sits on my shoulder, nudging me that I should really be going tomorrow. That I’m being a big baby not driving in the raging blizzard and 40 mph winds. Gosh, I’ve done it before! Maybe it’ll be the big one, and they will need me and I won’t be there. She is whispering in my ear….

But I will sit here with my pups instead. And I have my shovel ready and I plan to glare at the plow truck if they dare to hit my new mailbox and I will scrape my roof off when the snow gets too high and I will take comfort in the fact there are others at my station that can handle the job perfectly well without me.

Stay safe out there!