Northern Alberta is picturesque throughout most of the year. Spring brings pussy willows and baby mallards. Summer, green grasses and flowering Canola fields. Fall, blazing sunsets and golden wheat fields. Winter….
Winter. The month that brings the most beautiful scenery of all…or at least I’m trying to convince myself this is so.
A manical snowstorm has occured outside my window over the last twenty four hours. And try as I might to appreciate what it might feel like to live in a snow globe, my heart is just not in it.
I can handle observing winter as a bystander, warm and comfy from the inside of my condo- hot cup of cocoa complete with a shot of Baileys in hand observing the twirling dance of the snowflakes and inches of accumulation on the roof tops. I live in a condo. There is no obligation to shovel. I will have NO choice, however, in the morning but to dig out my mittens, make sure the vehicle is equippped with a snow brush, and be prepared to pop the buggy into four wheeldrive if the need arises. And if the dumpage continues as it is now four wheel drive will NOT an option but rather a necessity.
A life time of living in this province and I’ve finally come to realize that in order to thoroughly enjoy winter, I have to figure out a way to play in it.
I’ve bought myself some cross country skis.
This will be my second year cross country skiing . No, I will never be a diehard cross country ski fanatic like my friend Chriss who literally revels in the coldness and seems to find glee in her snot encrusted balaclava. She’s outside . She’s moving. She’s bonding with her dogs. I follow behind, somewhat enjoying the scenery, but mostly just worried about waxing out on that one hairpin turn at the bottom of that one hill that is ALWAYS icy. I’ll bust a hip, or worse yet, get a monstrous face licking from the dogs.
Aesthetically speaking, winter is pretty. I just wish I could have the glorious snow with the warmth of the sunshine. But isn’t THAT just life. You can’t enjoy happiness unless you have truly been sad. You appreciate real contentment only when you’ve experienced anxiety.
Maybe that’s what the seasons are all about. Juxtaposition. We find loveliness in spring because it’s placed beside the harshness of winter. We are silenced by the brazenness of fall because it’s placed beside the gentleness of summer.
When I think about how wonderful it would be to live in a warmer climate year round and block ice and snow and “blizzard like conditions” out of my frame of reference, I realize I would really miss “seasons”. An obvious, moving, tangible evidence of change. Change in weather. Change in environment. Change in life. An accumulation of experience and an evolution of wisdom.
I’ll remind myself of this tomorrow when I “appreciate” the -21 we’re expecting. In the meantime I’m going out to buy myself a pretty pair of mittens.