Winter is here!

Finally – but it is indeed now a reality. Dropped down into the minus 20’s last week… there’s some snow on the ground and the organizers of Winterlude have stopped talking about holding in-line skating events in place of skating on the Canal.

Yup – it is officially winter, and me being a non-winter person should be discouraged by the temps and depressed by the short days.

At least, you’d think that was the case.

But here’s funny thing that has happened over the past couple of weeks: I have unbelievably sort of enjoyed the return of the “white” to the Great white North.

What the hell?

I’m the guy who doesn’t ski, doesn’t like the mess that snow and slush makes when tracked into the house, hates driving in the stuff, can’t stand wearing boots, detests having to wear layers of clothing – and loathes having to ensure that my 3 year old is dressed accordingly (I’ve given up on the teenager – she won’t wear a coat until she is in the second stage of hypothermia).

But, and likely due to its late onset, winter is different for me this year. I have enjoyed the way that the -25 chill brings tears to my eyes, and then freezes them.

I liked the crunching sound my boots made this morning on the way to the 6:30 am bus.

When 8 inches of the stuff fell last week, I quite enjoyed the isolated tranquility of spending half an hour shovelling it off the driveway.

This is very foreign to me – this “liking winter” stuff. I still hate the short days, but even those are becoming noticeably longer.

I feel a little sorry for those who have never experienced a real winter and this winter, I feel just a little more Canadian for thinking so.

Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver – Gilles Vigneault

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