Okay, so my whole world has turned to ice. Like we have over 3 feet of snow right now. And it's been such hard work. Shoveling, splitting wood, hauling wood, fire building.. its crazy exhausting, but I love every freaking moment of it.
Since all this snow started, I've had several people ask me if I'm over it yet. If I'm regretting my decision to move here. If I'm ready to move somewhere else.. and each time I've been asked this, I actually laugh a bit.
Give up this adventure? No way! Sure it's hard work. Sure it's a little scary sometimes.. but honestly, hard work is empowering. And facing scary things is exciting, and thrilling. And that's the best way to grow.
I absolutely love living here in the cabin. The winter work has been hard. Some days it keeps me from my studio or from answering emails.
But, a large part of the work acts as a source of inspiration for me. It empowers me and brings me so much joy.
There really is nothing more empowering than facing a really big scary task, and knowing that YOU are the only one that is going to do it.
Plus this cabin experience has been incredibly bonding for Sterling and I. I'm not usually a sappy person, and I don't usually share stories like this, but it felt like a pivotal moment for me and our relationship.
Last week we got 2 feet of snow while Sterling was at work. It was a full on blizzard outside and my phone kept buzzing with new winter warning updates. I knew they wouldn't plow our lonely little road anymore until morning.. and I knew that our *extremely* long driveway was covered in 3 feet of snow all the way to the road. And the tractor wouldn't be available for a few more days.
I knew that when Sterling finally got home from the scary drive in the blizzard it would be dark, below freezing, and he would be tired; from a full day's of work and from the drive itself. I knew that the car might not even make it up the hill.. and he certainly wouldn't make it into the driveway. A large portion of the driveway needed to be dug out in order to park there safely overnight.
I knew it had to be shoveled out. I knew that I had to be the one to do it.
So I put my paint brush down and strapped on all my winter gear, gloves, hats and scarves and trudged down the driveway to the road.
When the cabin was out of sight, I looked at the area I was about to shovel and suddenly felt like I was in a sci-fi film. I was overlooking this pure white alien landscape. It felt a little foreign to me, and definitely scary. This was the most snow I've ever seen at one time. I had this crazy sense of dread and fear wash over me as I looked at the massive amount of snow I was about to shovel.
But, I knew it had to be done. It absolutely needed to get done right then too. It would be way too dark and cold when and if Sterling finally made it to the top of the hill. And there was no way I was going to make him do it after the scary drive.
So I shoveled.
I don't even know how long I was out there shoveling. It was above my knees and my back hurt from the moment I started! But I kept shoveling. Even when a stray dog brought me a dead rabbit. Even when the blizzard started back up. Even when the sun set.
It was getting dark and the roads were covered in snow. I started to worry about Sterling's safety, I was sure he was on his way home by now. We live in an area where we don't get cell service until we are inside the house so we had no communication, which furthered my anxiety. But, I kept focusing on shoveling the snow.
My goal was to finish the shoveling right as he got home. So he could go up our hill and turn right into the driveway. Without backing up and without getting stuck in the snow.
It was getting very dark by the time I began to finish up... and I still didn't see Sterling. I walked out to the road and rescraped the snow that started to cover my newly shoveled driveway..
Still no Sterling.
I thought it was probably time to check the time so I turned to trudge back down the long road to the cabin..
As I turned to walk back I wondered how long I had actually been out there. I didn't bring my phone since there is no service in the driveway. My hair was soaking wet, from either sweat, snow or both.. and my back felt so stiff it was hard to walk.
I got a few steps towards my snow covered foot prints leading back home when I heard a car engine!
I turned around to see that it was Sterling driving up the hill! Relief washed over me and snow shovel in hand, I ran back toward the road to watch him drive flawlessly into the driveway I had shoveled for him.
I actually jumped for joy with the shovel above my head upon his approach. (He keeps teasing me about what a sight I was.) But, I was so happy and relieved he made it safely, and so thankful he could get the car into the driveway.
He got out of the car white faced from the drive. The car almost fishtailed into the river, and he could barely see the road in front of him. He said he was so thankful to see me at the top of the hill, snow covered, windblown and cheering with the shovel above my head. The whole drive home he was sure he would have to dig the driveway out.
We held each other tightly and said at the same time, "I'm SO happy to see you." Both knowing how incredibly intense of an experience the other person just faced.
That night, sitting on the front balcony overlooking the waves of snow illuminated by the full moon, I asked him, "So... are you over this? Are you regretting this crazy move to the woods?"
I was thankful to hear him laugh as he said no. That day he got to learn just how much I cared for him. How hard I was willing to work for us and our dreams. How much I am willing to push myself. And he admitted that he knew as long as he is with me, there will always be some sort of crazy adventure going on.
We both learned a lot about ourselves that day.. and just how much we could handle.
We went to bed that night knowing that we faced an extremely hard day. But we made it. We knew that if we could handle what yesterday gave us, than we could handle the next day too.
Life will always be filled with storms of some type. Sometimes you get caught up in them by choice, sometimes by chance. But it's the attitude you have when you face them that matters.
Each storm offers us a chance to grow and expand. And the thrill of expansion is something I will never ever get over.
And this truly has been quite the inspirational adventure.