Virtual spring

Since we returned there has been more snow, so much that this winter has now broken all records. It snowed last Sunday and it snowed last night again. All the grimy snow has been covered over by a thin layer of sparkly white snow. That’s the only redeeming factor of the storm last night.

That we have broken all records thanks to last Sunday’s storm is a small comfort. There is still about half a meter of snow covering our yard. The lookout bench by the cove is only now starting to appear. In the morning when I get up, just before dawn, I see wildlife, frantically searching for food – the foxes, the skunks have all woken up to their internal clock that says it is spring, but outside their dens it looks more like the middle of winter. The short-legged ones in particular have a hard time scurrying up the steep snowbanks.

I am thinking of the snowbells and bluebells and crocuses that must have come up, creating tiny caves underneath the icy compacted snow. They will remain white and may never show their colors this spring. It’s the stuff of children books I remember – the coloring that happens underground before the tiny flowers show off to the world. This would be a children’s book about frustrations and setback, the little white darlings returning to their home, throwing temper tantrums, and the color fairy trying to shush them.

The past week I was the chief facilitator of a virtual leadership program with teams from Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina and the DRC. After about 5 weeks of getting used to the site and the concept of a blended (virtual and face to face) course, most teams have found their groove but it took a lot of handholding, checking multiple sites and constantly switching back and forth between French and the English of the rest of my work life. I would often start typing an email realizing it was full of ‘q’s’ and ‘z’s’ and punctuations at the wrong places. Why can’t we harmonize the keyboards across languages? As the day continued I would make more and more of these mistakes, a sign of my tiredness.

My nights remain problematic. I wake up many times with my shoulder the sorest in the early hours of the day; as a result I get up as I can’t find a position in bed that relieves the pain. Standing up is better, and if it is a weekday, I might as well start my workday, since Madagascar is 7 hours ahead and I can actually get some phone calls in.

Yesterday I had my pre-operation check in, the EKG, bloodwork and such, and was found to be fit for surgery a week from now. I told the nurse if she had found me unfit I would have thrown a fit, I can’t stand the pain any longer.

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