Friday, December 10, 2004

The Comfortable Forgetting

There are some things one forgets, not necessarily on purpose, but "out of sight, out of mind." This, I think, is a blessing. Birth pains. The hideousness of passport photos. The sweetness and embarrassment of that first kiss. Tooth ache. The extra twenty pounds of weight about the hips. Stomach flu. And snow.
You would think that living half way to the North Pole in a place esteemed for being Santa's summer playground, I would never forget snow. Not so. In the green months, the lush months, I forget the feel of ice underfoot. Can't even imagine it. Even in the crispy, smokey months the thought of snow is impossible. The freezing sting of it is beyond comprehension. Slippery mush is mirage on roads that are clear and dry.
And then it hits. The first sticker. The big blow which is not going away for three or four or five months. Travelling is suddenly dangerous. Drivers, fearful of the stuff, climb hills slowly, fail to make the grade and slide down again. Cars cluster at intersections. Trucks slide off into ditches. Visibility drops to zero. Fog restricts vision in places where water has yet to freeze. People sit, gripping the seat, as someone else drives, always too rapidly.
How could this be forgotten? Skating along mainstreet. Holding onto buildings for support in the blizzard. On-ing and off-ing boots, coats, scarves, hats, mittens. Buying sand at Canadian Tire. Buying long underwear at the Bay. Sweating indoors. Freezing outdoors. Eternally exhausted by the battle against the elements. I think, why didn't I move somewhere warm while the going was good?
Stuck. Here. For another season. Ho. Ho. Ho. I forgot, when things got comfortable that there are four seasons at the 45th parallel. And one of them is cold. Just remind me of this when dandelions and black flies come again, I'll not complain.
Blessings, Connie


Anonymous said...

What is especially galling is that we few, we optimistic few, have been driving by the golf course daily just to note that the flags are still in the cups on every green. I always believed that flags in the cups were Talismans to ward off sticky snow, grasping snow, lasting snow. One more illusion crushed.
But then, my inner child of the present awakening, I thrill to the prospect of sliding down hills, doing 360's and more, in my noble Chrysler - the look of shock, then horror, anticipation of the worst on the part of wife, daughters and fellow drivers - relief when I, steering in the direction of the spin, pull out and continue my progress toward a probably unimportant goal. The end is meaningless, really, it is the winter process. O Tempora, o flurries.
I applied my full aesthetic to the exterior decore of our nest today - never have 70 LED lights transformed withe greater hopefulness.
Winter, you give me so much scope.

bobbie said...

oooh, who left that comment above? beautiful!

blackflies or 5 months of snow... what a trade off?? :)

i love your style of writing connie - it takes me there, i could almost hear the crunch of the snow under my feet - it was in the mid 40's here and rainy yesterday - so we've not seen hide nor hair of snow... enjoy your winter wonderland at the cottage!

Connie said...

Hah, hah, hah. The beautiful comment maker is about to be outed. As a matter of fact, he's outside right now, walking the dog and preparing to dig out the driveway. It's my husband, Robert.

Lisa said...

It is sunny here today (and no, this isn't going to be a West coast gloating comment!) after a whole week of gales of rain. It is so grey and rainy here that I often forget what blue sky and sunshine looks like. And then, when it's beautiful, I can't imagine it ever clouding over and pissing rain. Vancouver in the rain is an extremely depressing sight; not a piece of colour to be found. Our psyches amazing - that gentle forgetfulness! Otherwise we might drown. Figuratively and literally.

A different topic entirely is driving in the snow. I bet your community can instantly identify a west coast driver - the stupid one going too fast or alternatively, hunched over the wheel terrified to drive at all (I'm the latter. I have NO IDEA how to drive in the snow!).

Connie said...

Yes, well, Lisa, most of us forget how to drive in snow for the first few weeks, but we do laugh when Vancouver schools shut down for 2 inches of the white stuff.
Nice chatting,

magoo77 said...

Advantages of living 1/2 way to the north pole... sitting by the fire, wrapped up in a blanket, warm drink in hand, a book and someone special to sit and chat with. Watching the snow fall softly on the trees and twinkle lights. That is tranquillity! Tiny crocuses popping through the heavy snow in early spring. A sign the end is near! To be positive when facing the dead of winter is a challenge for most of us. Enjoy winter walks in the deep snow and cross country skiing! Make the best of it... it won't seem so long and harsh (ha ha) Luv S

Deb said...

I echo bobbie's comment...I love your style of writing!!

We haven't had much snow yet either which is odd. I think that may change today. We're supposed to have several inches by tomorrow morning. I was upset about that. Somehow, after reading your words, I'm looking forward to it. Thank you Connie!