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I returned from NYU to these five words, spoken to me by my father. So I dropped off my two rather large and heavy bags inside the door of our house, turned around and promptly picked up a shovel and started shoveling the driveway. I had so much excitement to explain, so many stories to tell, but that would have to wait until our fairly long driveway was cleared of snow.

As the cold wind whipped icy needles of snow into my face, I found a rhythm in my shoveling pattern. Thunk, scrape, toss... thunk, scrape, toss... I found myself in a moment of zen while I concentrated on this rhythmic pulse. That was ruined, unfortunately, when a the tree branch above me decided to rudely throw a snowball at my face. I'll get that tree back one day.

Half an hour into the shovelling, my body was starting to feel the strain. Between my back's knotting muscles and my numbed head, I knew what it was like to feel fierce -- and I laughed.

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