It snowed last night. Only three inches but it is wet, heavy, heart-attack snow. My husband is on the other side of the globe sweating it out on the side of a volcano and forgot to leave directions for starting the new snowblower, so I pulled on boots and gloves and went out to clear the driveway with a shovel. I took a couple of swipes from top to bottom before my shoulder began to ache. It's a casualty from the days when I used to garden carelessly, thinking I could tackle just about anything with persistence. Just then, a gentleman came strolling down the street with a shovel over his shoulder and offered to clear the bottom of the driveway for me. It's the worst spot to shovel because of the overgenerous contributions from the snowplows. I accepted his offer eagerly and asked if I could pay him, thinking he might be a dad without work who was just trying to make a few extra dollars to feed his struggling family, but he refused. He was just being kind.
When I was done clearing the front walk, I grabbed my camera and walked down the street to snap a few pictures. Wet snow clings to the shrubbery and trees like layers of thick white frosting. Eye candy. Then I thought it would be nice to take a picture of a snow angel. I threw myself backward into a smooth, blank patch of snow in the front yard and waved my arms and legs like I was doing jumping-jacks. I am not as limber as I once was, so I had some trouble getting back up without messing up my angel. A truck drove by, stopped and backed up. The gentleman inside rolled down his window and asked:
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," I replied, smiling, brushing snow from the seat of my pants. "I was just making a snow angel."
The man laughed.
"I'm probably too old to be doing that," I said sheepishly. Especially if it alarms the neighbors, I added to myself.
"No, no," the man said charitably, "my wife does that too."
I already like his wife, even though we've never met, and would like to invite her over for a cup of tea. "Well, thank you for stopping to ask, that was kind of you."
Angels. Both of those gentlemen. Not the kind sent from heaven with messages from the Almighty, but heaven-sent nevertheless, for their acts of kindness have blessed me with unexpected joy today and reminded me that I abide in the palm of His hand.