I think the blizzard is over.
I turn the keys in my lock and step outside to a wall of white. There is still a wind blowing small flakes around, and I’m bundled with tall boots, hood, scarf and gloves.
This is the first step I’ve taken outside in over 24 hours, and in excitement I get out my phone and begin to film the wonderland. My steps leading to the street have turned into a magnificent slope, arcing up as a solitary drift.
I step forward and watch my leg become engulfed to my knee. Beneath my foot is the first concrete step.
The only way I know it’s there is to feel it.
So I take another step, smiling with each deep footprint and slowly make my way up to the street.
For a Saturday night, it is so quiet. The street lights are reflecting off the newly made winter hills, twinkling on all angles.
I remember my childhood, sledding with my brother, gloves soaked from endless snowballs, and hot chocolate steaming between my fingers.
Hours before, there was a travel ban issued for all of New York City. Broadway was shut down, and millions of us watched the wind whipping snow sideways from our windows.
The city shut down.
In the quiet, I wonder if I’m the only person out on my street. It is midnight, but I just couldn’t help it.
Then I hear noises across the way, and see neighbors coming out of their homes, laughing and gingerly stepping into the large drifts.
Turns out being home-bound wasn’t the only shared experience.
They wanted to step into the snow as well.
Do you need to see the concrete beneath you to move forward?
Snow days used to illicit shouts of joy! There was play, hills to sled down, snow ball fights, and endless running outside. We were in the present moment, forming the snowman and crafting the ideal snowball for battle.
We lived for THAT moment, because it was a break from what we felt was ordinary, the grind, or what we felt was expected of us.
Imagine if you approached your creativity this way.
Imagine if you emerged from the storm and the shut down and looked at the steps ahead only for WHERE they are leading you.
We all have our stories to share and our expression only manifests when we allow it too.
We can wait until all the snow is plowed, or when we feel safe, or can afford better snow boots, but the truth is we will continue to make excuses, and live in a past failure.
The storm will continue, even though the snow has melted.
So, how about remembering your creative joy?
How about taking that first step, and plunging in?
Most likely, you will look up and see someone across the street who wants to share in your experience. And it could be that you emerging from your home gives them to courage to do the same.
Turns out they enjoy hot chocolate too.
Today I ran an errand in my neighborhood, and walked among several piles slowly melting in the afternoon sun. They previously blocked pedestrians’ path for a few days, but now the concrete was exposed for clear footwork.
As I came up to the street, I saw two snow piles, and right down the middle, a path leading to the crosswalk. A small stream of water was flowing to the gutter, and the way was clear.
I thought of you, took a picture, and then walked forward.
It was always there, even under the snow.