Despite local media showering us with severe weather alerts and extreme cold, winter is behaving, well, like winter. Snow in all forms is what is supposed to happen. It is also what unites us as Canadians as the definitive experience that shapes our national character. Bitching about the weather should be an extra verse in our anthem. We have true grit, a toolbox essential, from sheer endurance of the winter marathon. It informs everything we see, do, read and create. Forget hockey. We are the cuddle champions of the world because winter is our civic glue.
I was born in the winter and got married in the winter, hoping for cozy fires against the chill. Oops: too bad our wedding in early January was one of those unusual pop up thaw days like much of the country experienced this week. My rented fur then proved to be over the top. So unlike me, I know what you’re thinking. Get married. Check. Prepare for blizzard. Check check.
|January 1992, Toronto|
In his brilliant Massey lectures on winter, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik suggests that the romantic idea of winter, my idea of winter, is perverse in a historical sense.
The oldest metaphors for winter are all metaphors of loss. In classical myth, winter is Demeter’s sorrow at the abduction of her daughter by death. In almost every other European mythology it is the same: winter is hard and summer is soft, as sure as sweet wine is better than bitter lees. But a taste for winter, a love for winter vistas-a belief that they are as beautiful and seductive in their own way and as essential of the human spirit and human soul as any summer scene -is part of the modern condition.
Loving winter then lands you’re firmly in the now. Everyone else can stay in the dark ages.
You still can redeem yourself. Ignore media who attempt to convince us all that cold weather in winter is news. There is romance amidst the slush and sleet that temperate season dwellers know nothing about.
Some tips to help the mood along:
Get boots without “porno heels”(thanks to writer Zosia Bielski for that term in the recent Globe and Mail series on singles). Trudging through snow banks in heels is lunacy and you’ll end up on some YouTube loser reel.
Wrap yourself in wool and leave nothing exposed. This is no time to flash your six pack or new boobs.
Winter is better for drinking big reds, exotic teas and strong coffee. Sip away, alone with a good book, and let the winds roar outside. Or, get some drinking companions but be careful: shed any winter curmudgeon pals who bitch about the season-they are likely the same whiners who hate the heat come summer.
Find friends who frolic in all temperatures.
Speaking of frolic, us winter babes know the best foreplay is shivering because it makes anticipating that duvet dive all the more sweet. Taking off all those extra layers one by one also helps.
Get flannel sheets. Forget flannel pjs. No need. (see above)
Go skating outdoors, tobogganing with a crowd. Play road hockey. Make friends with the neighbours with the rink. Bring spiked hot chocolate to thank them. Ski, skate, or snowshoe. Slide down an ice bank-on purpose.
If you need more snowy adventures, go here:
Perfect ode to winter, Anne. We slogged through the brief thaw yesterday and had our second snow day of the week today. Thank goodness the white stuff is back.
Yes, you and winter go so well together – full of life and grit and ready to take on all the elements with passion and fervour!!! Love the pictures in this blog too.
Thanks! Too kind but I’ll take it with pleasure!
Winter? What winter?
JR-G in California
It’s in your memory bank, pal. Admit-you miss the white stuff.