The bare ground is beginning to show in South Dakota. The piles of snow are black and brown. They are ugly. The local news evidently had time to fill. Taking a rain gauge, they melted a foot of snow in it to show the amount of water produced from the melting snow. In a “duh?” moment, the anchor said but that water is brown! Of course it was, it also had sticks and other debris in it.
Yesterday, the trip across the Wal-Mart parking lot was a bit like navigating around streams and rivers. One lake filled most of the area we walked. I thought about galoshes. I wondered why no one wore them anymore. I imagine if I poll the people walking into Wal-Mart, all but the very old would even know what galoshes are any more. I like the sound of the word galoshes.
I thought about being a kid in Brooklyn when the snow was melting. There would be rivers in the streets. The storm drains would back up because of the volume. Every paper wrapper carelessly discarded, along with leaves and other debris floated quickly to the storm drain. Sometimes you couldn’t get across the street without getting your feet wet; unless you listened to your mother and wore galoshes.
I thought about the boys at PS 94 whose mother’s would make them wear those bright orange raincoats when it rained. They looked like miniature crossing guards or police officers. With only their faces exposed, covered from head to toe they would be completely dry once they shed their rubber skin. Puddles would form in the coat closet as they noisily dripped on the wood floors. My galoshes were never pretty. Pretty was expensive. My family stuck with basics. My galoshes would have looked something like this:
It was always hard for my little hands to get those galoshes over my shoes. It was worse when the school bell rang signaling it was time to go home. Mrs. Dickinson, my favorite teacher at PS 94 would complain about people who were absent when we wore our galoshes. She would look at us and say “Where is Bobby or Nancy today? It’s only rain! Are they "sugar cubes” that will melt in the rain?” That alone was motivation to get to school on rainy days. I didn’t want Joyce to be substituted for Bobby.
It’s a grey ugly day in South Dakota. The fog was so dense you couldn’t see last night. The temperature above freezing will bring more melting and water. More debris will collect.
I think it is sort of like that with my soul. My soul was covered and washed white as the snow. And yet, debris remains in my life. Some has been there a long time. Other has recently collected. As the snow melts, I see that debris. It's brown, black, ugly and dead. As it is exposed, the rain and force of the melting water needs to wash it away. As the March winds blow, it will push more of it away. Finally, in April, the showers will come. They will wash away the remaining debris making way for new growth in my soul. Nevertheless, I will look for some galoshes to protect my soul as the winds, the rain and adversity continues.