Dark Mornings Come Alive In The Winter

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Everyone hates winter. It is cold, there is snow and for us here in Syracuse, there is a lot of snow. The weather here is unpredictable. Yesterday afternoon was 61 degrees, overnight we got almost a foot of snow. I was up at 6am to clean the driveway so that my wife could get out and go to work at 830.

When it comes to cleaning my driveway I am a major perfectionist. Not only do I use the snowblower but then I go back over everything with a shovel. It takes me twice as long to clear the driveway because I do so much extra work clearing the driveway. I know this, I am aware of this, and I do not care. I love it. I find it relaxing, and peaceful. I am usually outside when it is still dark. Usually around 5am. I love it.

Often times in the spring, people will talk about sitting outside with a cup of coffee in the early morning hours listening to the world come alive. We often associate the idea of coming alive with the spring. Why shouldn’t we? Spring is when flower bloom, grass grows, animals mate and have babies. Essentially the world is, in fact, coming alive. However, at 5am, on a dark winters morning, the world comes alive too and I love that.

Unlike in the spring/summer/fall when I mow the lawn, I do not use headphones when I am out cleaning the driveway. This allows me to experience the world coming alive. I do not often get to have this experience, and honestly it only happens when I have to clean the driveway.

At 5am when I am out there alone, it is dark, like pitch black dark with just the glow of a streetlight. During the next 60-90 minutes, a lot of things are going to change. The first 20 minutes is just smells as all I can hear is my snowblower. The smell of wood burning stoves and fireplaces as people are waking up to start their day. Neighbors begin to emerge from their homes assumingly to do the same thing I am doing. There is the occasional snow plow or truck that comes down the road and we exchange a wave. Once I am done with the snowblower the quite returns. That is when things really seem to pop for me. The light of day is beginning to creep in. In the distance, I can hear the sounds of a backup alarm, probably from a hired plow cleaning someone’s driveway for them. I begin to hear the roar of snowblowers and the scraping of windshields and by 6am the morning is alive and buzzing.

It may not be the crispness and warmth of spring. It may be a chore 99% of people despise. For me, winter mornings are better than the spring and I live for it.

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