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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Snow is bleak

 
This is what Walter White saw out of his cabin every day.


I'm reminded of one of the last episodes of Breaking Bad. Walt is in hiding. Deep in the backwoods of New Hampshire. It is the dead of winter. Freezing cold and snow covering everything. It is quite the existence.
As Canadians, we have lived these winters for our whole lives. In the last couple of years, we have gotten away with very mild winters with almost no snow and hardly any real cold days. That was something we shouldn't have gotten used to. Because it isn't our reality. 

I mentioned it in the fall to a few friends. Then, as we left for our long December journey, south all the way to Austin, Texas, we got the first taste of it on our drive from Toronto to Pittsburgh. It was the worst part of the journey, one that is usually a piece of cake. Then, we were safe all the way back to Pittsburgh, until we drove home on New Years day and got it even worse. From that day forward, the snow has never melted, more has come, and there have been very few even mild days since. It has been a long hard winter.

The winter we have gotten this year is our reality.
I grew up in Montreal, and very little for the most part of what I experience in Toronto has ever really approached what I lived with for 13 years in Montreal. Still, living these winters is not pleasant. Nope. Not pleasant at all.


Many days this winter, this is the view outside my house. The snow has never melted.

It just takes the life out of you. You don't feel like doing anything, going anywhere or achieving anything at all. If you could get away with it, you would hibernate in your house all winter like a bear and come out when spring arrives. The grass is already green and a winter coat isn't required.

I have friends who live in other countries and some who live in the south, warmer, sunnier climates, who have a romantic view of snow and cold. They can afford to be romantic about  it. Because they don't live the reality we do.
Snow is bleak. Cold is tiring. Many of my friends are just plain worn out dealing with it. It just takes the life out of you. 
But then, you know you are so close to spring. And as you edge closer, and winter loses the battle, fades away, you rise up again. Like Friday night when you get off work. You know the weekend is here. Time to rejuvenate. It is what you hold on to when you are toughing it out in our winters. Our cold, snowy, bleak winters. It takes a certain type of person to stay positive and happy in the face of them.
Post cards are post cards. Reality is a much different thing. Snow covered scenes are pretty. Shovelling heaps of heavy snow while your hands are frozen and your face is beat red is not pretty. Not at all. It is bleak.
And just as you think you are getting to the end of it, when all the snow melts, a few warmer days come and you can see green grass..you get hit with one more big shot of winter. 
Yes, snow is bleak. It takes a very resilient type of person to get through the whole winter and not let it get you down. It takes away your energy, and takes away your spirit.
They don't talk about that in the nice picture postcards. 

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