Posts Tagged ‘growing up’


Ice Storm

January 6, 2014

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As 2014 gets settled in, winter is slapping it in the face pretty good around here. First was the snow, lots of snow. Now it is the freezing rain on top of the snow. It should be a fun commute this morning. I have to admit, the backyard looks wonderfully eerie in the glow of the outside floodlights. It occurred to me, we have much to learn from ice storm. Of course, the lessons we learn often depends on where you are in life.

When we are young, the lesson is direct, “be careful as ice is slippery.” We learn that mostly by ignoring our mothers and playing on the ice. Hopefully, the only proof of such a lesson is a bruised knee or fanny. While the direct lesson is useful, a secondary lesson begins to take root, the advice of others has value.

When somewhat older, we no long see ice storm as forms of amusement. At some point, our parents stop warning us of the danger of slipping and limiting our exposure to it. Instead, they send us out to chip away the danger from sidewalks and driveways. Of course, while still warning us of the danger of slipping. This too has its lessons. We learn that we must deal with our problems with and, from time to time, not on our schedule. Chances are we relearn the original lesson that ice is slippery too during this process. While we learn to deal with problems, this time, the secondary lesson is we have responsibilities in life that go beyond ourselves. How we learn the latter will define our character.

Now, as a fully functional adult, I suit up in long johns, layers of shirts, insulated boots, two pair of gloves, earmuffs, hat and a coat worthy of Nanook of the North. I head out and chip ice without direction. I chip and shovel and sweep away the danger to sidewalk and drive. I no longer have lessons to learn from ice storms. I know them, I know that we live our lives and we learn. We learn from others, Mother Nature and ourselves. So, as I head out to do my chore, having learned all the lessons an ice storm can possibly teach, I step out onto the landing, slip, land on my ass and start the learning process all over again.


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