... But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.
This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.
He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.
—Excerpt from Shoveling Snow with Buddha by Billy Collins
"February" was, I think, number 2 or 3 on the list of reasons to move to California. Here we just sing nostalgically about shoveling snow.
Volti gives three performances this weekend—Friday in Berkeley, Saturday in SF, and Sunday in Marin—which include the premiere of Yu-Hui Chang's setting of Billy Collins' poem above, along with music by Orlando Jacinto Garcia, Felipe Perez Santiago, Jean Ahn, and Mark Winges. Details here.
If you're snowed in, stay warm. Bay Area folks have no such excuse.