A woman with a sled

March 16th

I was outside my home yesterday afternoon when I heard a strange sound. It wasn’t as unpleasant as scratching nails on the blackboard, but something very close to it. It was so annoying that I had to look over the fence to see what is going on. Taking a peek, I saw an elderly woman dragging a sled behind her on the sidewalk.

There is no snow on the ground.

There wasn’t any snow on the ground for about a month.

And yet, there was a woman walking, dragging a sled on the sidewalk. Why? I understand that there might be a good reason to move a sled from one place to another. That woman might not have a car or didn’t want anyone with a car to help her. She wanted to move that sled. Even when there is no more snow on the ground. But wouldn’t it be easier to carry it? Sleds are not heavy, even for a lady in her late 60s. Dragging a sled on the dry pavement, with all the friction, is surely more taxing and just as cumbersome as just carrying in a hand. And the sled wasn’t any big. Just a small sled for a single child. And the woman in question wasn’t carrying anything else in her hands.

But anyway, there she was. Dragging that sled through my neighborhood. That had to be difficult and simply put it — a hard work to do that. And there was also something very undignified in a sight of a woman dragging a sled on a snowless pavement.

I am not really sure where I am going with that story, but it stuck in my mind. That sight of that woman and her sled. Just walking slowly, dragging it behind her. Why does it bother me? Why does it annoy me? Why do I keep thinking about it? Is it because it was something out of ordinary? Even something of a mundane action, but not typical when there is no snow on the ground? So out of season that it just doesn’t make any sense?

I don’t know what her story was. I don’t know why should I care. But I do. This unresolved but really prosaic action stays on my mind for an unhealthy amount of time. Is it a way of coping that my mind developed on the fly to keep itself (and me) occupied on something trivial so the terrible current events are pushed back into a deep recess of my brain? If so — I am glad. It works. I thought about it, I wrote about it, and I was busy NOT thinking about what is going on in the world for a while.

So, a shout-out to my mind — it worked just as you planned.



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