Beginnings and Endings

The snow this past weekend was surreal.  Okay, maybe it was the alcohol, too, but nothing changes the character of moments quite like a blizzard.  Everything is so quiet, and peaceful, even though there is impending doom.  It reminds me of the clips online just before the Christmas 2004 tsunami, when tourists ran out into the sudden low tide on the beaches of Indonesia, not realizing it was the lion’s den.

Monika and I spent the weekend, shut in, with very close friends.  We went to karaoke in Philly on Friday night, and when we left, the snow had just begun to fall.  By Saturday morning, we were practically snowed in at our friends’ apartment, and fled with them to our place.  We had been taking care of my best friend’s house while he was away in Florida visiting his family, and his pets needed our attention.

I had tried to stem the surge of snow with my snowblower, and took care of everyone I was able to on my block.  This repeated until Sunday morning.  I’m still sore from all the shoveling I did, mostly because a lot of my neighbors are single parents.  I’ve lived here for four years and I can’t tell you much more that a handful of my neighbor’s names, but in the face of emergency, names and formalities don’t really matter.  Without asking for anything, my good deeds were rewarded with a case of my favorite beer, Hop Devil, and five loaves of whole wheat bread.

It was an emergency here for several reasons.  In Atco, we got 25″ of snow.  My gazebo collapsed under the weight.  I pushed multiple cars out of their stranded abandon.  When I tried to reach the local supermarket, I was blocked by a fire truck that had run off the road and blocked the entire street.  But, we didn’t lose power, or gas, and though I saw a few wrecks, I didn’t see anyone hurt, or slip on ice, or worse.  I will say that there are more than a few gutters in my neighborhood that need to be replaced, but that ain’t bad for what we were up against.

What is really amazing about something like this is that people come together.  I met people that I’ve never seen before on my block, and we had brotherly bonds for one brief moment, because, in the end, we were equally screwed by Mother Nature.  That just feels right to me.  And, we spent a great deal of time with two friends that really needed a weekend like we had.

One is wrestling with the end of something great in her life, and it’s not going to be easy.  It’s hard to accept that all things come to pass, or change, or evolve for better or worse.  Life is fluid, and closure only comes when we embark upon new horizons.

The other can barely contain herself and is looking to begin a new life, in a new place, with someone she never expected to be with.  That is amazing, and it forces us, ourselves, to swallow the sometimes bitter pill that all things come to an end of sorts.  We hope that it truly means the start of a new relationship that stretches not only far distances, but even further and deeper love.

And in the end, beginnings and endings are not so different after all.  Sometimes the only difference if a change of perspective.  Maybe it comes from someone you know, with encouraging words, or helpful insight.  Sometimes it comes from a simple epiphany when a stranger talks to you on the street one random day.  And sometimes it takes a blizzard of situations, that make us realize we’re all in this together, and we’re better off if we all stick together, in whatever ways we can.

2 Responses to “Beginnings and Endings”

  1. Very nice

  2. Ryan, You are an amazing writer. The first time I read this, I was enamored with your detailed style and the second time, I was hearing and feeling your words and they are profound. I couldn’t agree with you more regarding people’s attitudes in a crisis and I do wish that the warmth and considerations could last. All we can do is our own part and pass it forward. Thanks for a beautiful synopsis and message.

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