Yesterday, in Victoria, it snowed. It did not all melt overnight as has happened in the past. It snowed more. Today the schools are closed, buses are not running, Libraries are not lending; the Polish Deli is open, Patisserie Daniel is open, the local grocery store is open, half the deck got cleared and seeds, muffin, water, nectar were put out for the birds: a seagull was the first visitor - the muffin!
I was incredibly grateful to find the power on when I woke up, to turn on CBC Radio and find Paul and Jeff and Madeline cheerfully chatting. I was astonished to open the front door and find the newspaper tucked cozily in the mailbox: the thirteen steps up to the veranda were full up with snow. I was very happy to find that a plow had gone down our (side) street. I was touched and thankful that two kind people cleared steps, path, sidewalk and car of snow.
The extremes of snowy weather bring out extremes in me: I have winter angst. It is a major reason why I moved to the West Coast from Ontario sixteen years ago.
Enough time has passed since I moved here and enough experience, here, of the brevity of winter (ie, snow!) has allowed me to observe the details of winter angst with more curiosity than dread.
Snow can be overly abundant, relentless. It can hang around branches, eyelashes; it can hang around for months. It inhibits freedom. Mostly it has to do with mobility; you have to pay such attention to where and how you walk in snow (aka slush, ice). Ankles are challenged, shoulders hunch, focus must be on the next step instead of surrounding interests.
Once all these issues were noted and addressed they were put into a perspective and I could stop and look around. It is beautiful outdoors. The sun is out. Crows in the snow look so black/black and make the snow look so white/white. Neighbours are out on the street shoveling and talking. People are out on the street strolling and talking. There is not a cat in sight. There are few cars. I saw the first icicle I have seen in years.