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      REFLECTION ON SNOW SHOVELING by Barbara Biddison

      b21 26A blessing?  The snow was more like thick ice.  I had to get the scraper under it, after breaking it up with repeated forceful pounding.  I generally like to shovel snow, but this was painful and my shoulders began to cry "enough!"  But rain was forecast and then another major snow, so I kept going.  It's just the sidewalk in front of my house after all.  But how can I make a blessing out of this?

      Then along came a man I've known for maybe 40 years, serving on the same boards and committees here and there.  He was just out for a walk.  We greeted each other, and then he said, "Let me help you with that."  And I did, let him help me with that.  Then a neighbor came home from his work, pulled into the driveway, and saw the two of us as he began to tackle his own snow.  So he left his snow and came to join us on my sidewalk.  I cannot aptly describe the feeling of community that I felt as we worked together and finished up the sidewalk.  The heavy ice-like-snow was off to the side.  The walk was clear.  A Blessing from the Pandemic!  I felt it when we worked together, I felt it going into the house to warm my hands, I feel it still.

      I heard and experienced the 8 Hamilton-Gibson readers present BLESSINGS FROM THE PANDEMIC last Saturday and Sunday.  I knew I would hear many blessings that I relate to, and I look forward to looking at life like this more often when challenges come my way.  The poetry cycle was a treat and an inspiration.  It has helped me see my own blessings as it has already helped me reflect on shoveling snow.

      [The feeling of community continues with the second in the Zoomed Staged Readings Series this Saturday at 7:30, and this Sunday at 2:30 with FJ Hartland's POSTCARDS FROM A DEAD DOG featuring Jen Painter and Josh Magnotta. Check out the HG website or fb page for the link. We're all in this together.]

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