The weathermen are predicting 2+’ of snow here. The schools are closed. The roads are closed. The town is closed. This afternoon we’ll have white-out conditions, warm fires, and hot-cocoa drinking.
The kids are sitting by the window and waiting for the snow… they want to go outside and sled and make snowmen and forts.

Me, I’m dreading the shoveling.

In his poem, Shoveling Snow With Buddha, Billy Collins has a wonderfully zen take on my least favorite winter chore.

excerpt from Shoveling Snow With Buddha by Billy Collins

But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.

This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.

To see the rest of the poem, go to Poem Hunter.

I love the lines, “[t]his is the true religion, the religion of snow,/ and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky”. Somehow, in those two lines, he perfectly captures the reverence I feel when I’m standing outside on a winter day.

For more Poetry Friday, visit the lovely Tara at A Teaching Life.

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11 Responses to Blizzard!

  1. Tabatha says:

    Love it, Katya! Perfect poem for your weather today. Stay warm!

  2. Great poem, Katya. Thanks for sharing. Sending you warm thoughts from sunny Georgia this weekend!

  3. Joy Acey says:

    Thank you for sharing the Billie Collins poem. Here’s wishing you just enough snow for sledding and snowmen, a warm fire and lot of cocoa.
    Thank you for sharing your snow with us.

  4. Both you and Billy hit it on the nose –
    “But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
    one shovelful at a time.”
    Shoveling can be such a dreaded chore, but at the same time satisfying if you can get the car out of the garage. =) Enjoy your cocoa and snow day(s).

  5. Oh it’s all fine and mystical when it’s “light powder into the clear air”. When it’s wet, heavy, clumps of ice… Lord Have Mercy. That’s when you need faith to kick in!!

  6. Joyce Ray says:

    Lovely poem and perfect for this weekend. Something about shoveling (if you forget about the working up a sweat part) is mindful and a discipline. I remember the quiet all around in the days before snowblowers. I can’t see the Buddha with a snowblower.

  7. Only TWO inches? They’re calling for up to 2 FEET here…I want to move! Like Andi said, it’s all pristine and wonderful until you have to move it. ;)

  8. I could be more zen about shoveling if I heard those winter geese! Right now the roar of dueling snowblowers moving our 28 inches of snow is overpowering, and there’s a nasty diesel smell in the air.

    Hoping for a quiet time to snowshoe in the woods soon! Thanks for sharing these lovely lines.

  9. Mary Lee says:

    How have I missed this one by Mr. Collins?!? Love it!

  10. kczaja says:

    We ended up getting 32″ of snow. It took a whole day to shovel it off of the walkway, porches, and roofs. Phew.

    As my husband and I took a late afternoon walk to enjoy how beautiful it looked, a huge v of geese barked overhead. Just like in the poem. :-)

  11. Laura Shovan says:

    I love the earlier lines:
    “Is this not implied by his serene expression,
    that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?”
    During a big storm, it feels like the snow has wrapped itself around the waist of the universe.