While I shoveled, I plugged in my headphones... which had the annoying habit of popping out of my ears as my arms or the shovel handle snagged the cord each time I shifted my body. It became quite the antagonistic relationship - me and my white cord vying for control: that slippery snake with the earbuds marked R and L to tell you which ear they must go in, which I can't read without my reading glasses! I couldn't allow the music to stop (shoveling routine would lose rhythm) yet I couldn't seem to keep the earbuds happy enough to stay put. I tried hanging the cord off my back (but the twisting motions dislodged them again). I tried stringing them through my coat, putting the iPod in my back pocket instead of front. The whole struggle became epic, including a few choice words I launched audibly at Steve Jobs for not caring about me in particular, stranded here in Ohio in the knee-deep snow! (Uh, yeah, I got carried away.)
Eventually, I yielded to the halting success, enjoying the music while the buds stayed plugged in and stopping to adjust them as they subtly shifted. I focused on lyrics. I let Oasis blare guitars. They soothed and spoke for and to me. And weirdly enough, the mix began with my first scoop of snow (starting with song one "Wonderwall") and literally ended with the last scrape off the frozen windshield of my car as "Champagne Supernova" erupted and fizzled at the end.
The push, lift, hurl and retread habits of shoveling got all my body parts working. The music accompanied my loud (seemingly acapella) singing (I have a habit of belting out tunes while mowing too, but at least the mowers drown me out). I didn't care. The fading light made the icicles glitter. I even licked a few of them on a low hanging branch. The snow moved easily with a push and made a nice long row of mounds. I like to keep my edges crisp, so I would work a lane and then push the little scattered snowballs up the edges on a second pass.
As the moments went by, I felt an increasing sense of well-being. Words spoke to me:
And all the roads we have to walk along are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
Maybe I will never be
All the things that I want to be
But now is not the time to cry
Now's the time to find out why
But the little things they make me so happy
All I want to do is live by the sea
Little things they make me so happy
But it's good it's good it's good to be free
I can feel the warning signs running around my mind
And when I leave this island I'll book myself into a soul asylum
Cos I can feel the warning signs running around my mind
But all the things that you've seen
Will slowly fade away
Gonna write a song so she can see
Give her all the love she gives to me
Talk of better days that have yet to come
Never felt this love from anyone
Cos all of the stars are fading away
Just try not to worry you'll see them some day
Take what you need and be on your way
And stop crying your heart out
The wheels of your lifeAnd because it was the last song:
Have slowly fallen off
Little by little
Someday you will find meDriveway looks great. I felt free of whatever oppression had settled on me in our blue box of a house.
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova in the sky...