15 January, 2011

well, now that i'm on a roll...

let's talk about the weather, because there's nothing quite as exciting as talking about the weather, is there? why, i could go on about the weather for hours!

having just spent 3 weeks in alberta, i have winter on my mind. in alberta, winter is not in any way theoretical. it is not a concept; it is real. snow comes (and this year, keeps on coming) and stays way past its best by date. it is not uncommon to be wearing shorts in may, looking at piles of snow still slowly melting in shady areas. but the snow! oh how i love alberta snow (insomuch as i can even speak of loving snow) compared to the watery slush of british columbia or eastern canada. i love the fact that in alberta it is physically impossible to make a snow man (unless you bring out a hose and douse your creation liberally with water). forget having snowball fights. it simply does not stick. the snow there sparkles, crunches underfoot, whispers like sand and is generally gorgeous...except, you know, not for seven fucking months...

when i got off the plane on vancouver island and saw all the sad wet snow here, i was instantly depressed. overwhelmed by the dirty sadness of an ill-fitting precipitation. here, rain feels right. here, in this place, winter is a green, damp, pine-scented season, marked with the glistening red of arbutus bark, mists swirling, mosses doing their furry thing, things budding already in january. oh, i shall miss it when i go. funny, how we were warned about the grey and rain of coastal british columbia, and we have not minded it one bit. but the four days of snow? i could barely stand to look out the window. and do not get me started on what an atrocious job the local snow plow operators do around here. then again, one can easily blame their lack of practice...lucky bastards.

so: winter. here, you can smell its imminent end. in alberta, it'll be months yet. if we do go back there, i'll just have to get my warm boots out, together with my sense of moral superiority (i suspect all northern peoples have it: that ill-disguised scorn for all those softies, those warm-climate wusses who would not dance at an outdoors new year's celebration in -30°C like we did last year) and get ready to shovel. still, i'll miss the green.

3 comments:

Zhoen said...

I love talking about weather. It's not small talk for me.

I miss the wet, heavy, sculptural snow, actually. The light, salty, Hollywood stuff we get here is only good for melting at the slightest whiff of sun. Which is nice when it comes to driving in it.

And, yes, I too have that Northerner's sense of superiority over the wimpy shiverers.

Anonymous said...

The snow in Alberta is nice. As long as you don't have to shovel it, walk in it, scrape it off the car, dress for it or otherwise "deal" with it.

And you don't speak of the dry. I can tolerate the snow, and to a certain extent, the cold. But the dry kills me. I hate it. My eyes and nose are always crusty and my skin crawls and itches. I can never quite get a full breath.

All in all, I'll take a BC winter over an Alberta winter any time. DON'T LEAVE!!!!!
g

the polish chick said...

well, g, i now it's odd for an avowed winter hater, but i actually love walking in it and shoveling it. i am not fond of the driving bit or the car scraping bit, but ever since i got my shearling coat in poland, the cold doesn't phase me!

as for the last comment, looks like it's not in the cards. sorry. we'll visit. and then one day we'll return.

we spent today planting seedlings on our land, wearing only long sleeve t-shirts and glorying in what january *can* be like in civilised parts of the world. oh well, such is life.