To Shovel, Or Not To Shovel…

If Hamlet lived in Nova Scotia…

To shovel, or not to shovel – that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the winter to suffer

The snow drifts and blizzards of tumultuous Mother Nature,

Or to wield a shovel against a six foot snowbank of ice chunks

And by toiling remove them? To dig – to heave –

To groan. And by heaving to say we wrench

The sacoriliac, and endure the thousand woeful aches

The flesh is heir to. ‘Tis an occupation

Devoutly to be avoided. To slog – to toil –

To toil – perchance to strain: aye, there’s the twinge

That cripples the sciatica and reminds us painfully

That the muscles that make up this mortal coil,

Must give us grief: there’s the injury

That lasts the rest of our long life;

For who could bear the sweat and blisters of digging,

The frozen fingers, the snot dripping nose,

The pangs of frostbite, and our jealous rage,

As our insolent neighbor smiles and waves,

Behind the roaring ease of his snowblower,

When he himself might our driveway plow

But we’ve just finished shovelling it? Who would this irony bear,

To grunt and sweat under a drift,

When with dread we hear the snowplow,

The nemesis of our toil, from whose blade

All our effort is undone? It puzzles the weary,

And makes us rant and weep and cry

Why me? Wh-h-h-y m-e-e-e?

Thus winter does make lunatics of us all;

And thus our love of Mother Nature

Is sicklied o’er with each new forecast,

And the pristine beauty of the freshly shovelled driveway

Is a ruse to taunt us in the currents of eddying snow,

And we are defeated. Damn you, snow!

Mother Nature, in her malevolence,

Isn’t through with us yet,

And all our aches are remembered.



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