Monday, January 16, 2012

winter has come

We were blessed with some snow, finally. As well as everyone on the west coast, judging from facebook statuses.

This is news because I live on the prairies; last year we had a solid 3 feet of snow in our backyard for at least 4 months. The city snow removal crews created the largest ever "snow mountain", which finally completely melted in September. Yes, September.

So this has been a strange winter - temperatures around +10 C, no snow on the ground, wearing light fall jackets everyday (sometimes no jacket!), it's been odd indeed. Until this morning.

I'm not sure how much we got, but my neighborhood is blanketed. Some areas it's only a couple of inches, some drifts are a foot tall. After shoveling the sidewalk, I decided it seemed like a good day to take to the trails and enjoy the newly white surroundings.

Well. Within about 3 minutes I wished I had put on long johns and a scarf. Thankfully I remembered a toque and some warm mittens. But the wind - oh my, I had forgotten all about wind chill. I'm still waiting for the feeling to come back to my legs.

And walking in snow is something I am just not used too. I definitely got a good workout from that alone. It's a little like running on sand, only with big heavy boots on your feet.

All in all though, there were good moments. Like being the first to step in a blank white sheet of snow. What is that urge? That urge to ruin an expanse of perfection with your own footprints? Whatever that is, it's something I don't take for granted anymore. Growing up on a farm, it was easy to be the first one out there in the snow - my parents didn't really take to running across the yard unless the cows were out. But in the city it's a little different.

And the quiet. Some might think it's eerie when the city can be so quiet. I relish it. When I am up at the top of the river valley, looking down to the houses below, across the river to downtown, it's magical how the noise just disappears. It's as if everyone knows it's a day for staying home, making a pot of tea, and curling up with a good book.

(I was also thankful when no one was around to watch me wipe out. Twice. It's easy to forget that underneath all that snow is a month-old layer of solid ice.  That plus my zero-traction knockoff UGG boots from Costco was just not a good combination.)

I left my phone at home & didn't take a camera, so I have no pictures to show you. But you can't really capture the kind of quiet beauty that is a gentle snowfall. It's something to be experienced, not observed.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a peaceful walk...not to be ruined by pictures. You described it well, it is easy to picture. I love being the first to make marks in the snow...sorry about your falls :(