Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Blind Take on Snow

Apparently you don't even have to see snow to appreciate it, as I was reminded this morning.

Out walking the beagle around 9:30, the streets were empty except for one neighbor, methodically shoveling his sidewalk.

As we approached, I realized it was Alvin, a middle-aged neighbor and Iraq veteran who is almost completely blind.

He can make out vague forms, but not much more. And here he was working that snow shovel over our brick sidewalks like a champ.

We greeted each other and he leaned on his shovel and started chatting about how my dog liked the snow (he's always loved it) and how brisk he was for such an old dog (14 1/2).

I thought he nailed it when he said we were the only people smart enough to be out enjoying the silence and whiteness of such a serene morning.

Most tellingly, he remarked that what he was doing was for the sheer pleasure of the experience, since he knew it would soon be covered over and have to be done again later on.

"It's just such a beautiful day that I couldn't resist being out here admiring it and breathing it in," Alvin said.

Which was exactly why I was out there, but it became that much better sharing the feeling with someone.

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