April 8th is the birthday of Prince Siddartha Gautama, who became known as Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddha's birthday also happens to be that of my youngest daughter. But far from being transmorgrified into a religious philosopher, she is an agnostic. She is however, like the name Buddha also means, a teacher and a very good one at that. She is on hiatus presently, raising her own small children and writing. But this item is not about her birthday, but rather about the day of her birth. April 8th, 1975 to be precise. We lived on a farm in King Township and my wife was scheduled to give birth to our second child by Caesarean section. Spring was upon us but a severe, late-winter snowstorm hit three days before the big event. Blinding snow blew perfectly flat across the fields and against the buildings. Snow drifts rose right up to the eavestroughs on the house. Nothing was moving on the roads. Part of the trip to the hospital might have had to be made by snowmobile, but we didn't have one. Fortunately, others nearby did and arrangements were made, just in case.
This 36-year-old black and white photograph shows just how high the snow got in front of the house. But the day before the scheduled surgery, the winds died down, the snow stopped piling up and the digging out began. My wife's uncle, a nearby farmer with a huge tractor-mounted snowblower, made it in the long farm laneway to the front of the house. Digging with shovels got the doors uncovered, paths opened up, and the car uncovered. The real event, of course, was the birth of our second, beautiful, little daughter. Mother and daughter were fine. Even now, 36 years later, winter is not over for me until April 8th is past. Please comment if you wish.