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Going Outside with a Broom

by Brianna Van Dyke 

One day in May, brother winter sent his stuff falling with so much ferocity and volume that the sky was a mostly white sky with only tiny specks of gray appearing every so often. Which is to say it was a lot of snow.

A middle-aged man wearing black rode by slowly on his bike, his bike! His face was lowered, his back hunched under a ridge of white.

Our three-legged dog hopped by the window and began eating something on the ground, digging through the snow with his nose while balancing on his three legs.

A few minutes later, another man walked by with sunglasses on and something tucked under his arm—a golf club, a metal detector, a cane?

And the snow kept falling.

And the neighbor’s cat ran from the barn to the garage for some purpose unknown to me, gathering a nice pile of snow on the ridge of her spine in just those few seconds.

But perhaps most miraculous of all that morning were all the trees that had leafed out, opening the door to spring even in the danger of heavy snow. One of the branches from the chokecherry had already broken under the weight, so I went outside with a broom to whisper good luck dear brave ones to the mountain ash and the hawthorn and the crabapple and the rest of the chokecherry branches and to shake their low branches free of snow and watch them bounce back and up into the sky.

And all throughout that day, I went out to shake the branches, to notice what I could notice.

Brianna Van Dyke is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ruminate. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and their two children on a working CSA farm. In addition to tending to Ruminate, she also enjoys leading retreats in the Ruminate Barn and taking retreats, too.