Saturday, March 29, 2008

What if we stopped complaining about the weather?

Wherever I go in the city, people are complaining about the weather, the snow, the ice, the lateness of spring. They grumble about the wind, about the rain, about the slush, about the dirty snowbanks. They whine about the cold and the clouds. Strangers grouch to strangers, clerks to customers. It’s the endless elevator speech. Sure, spring is late, but what can you do?

The guy at the parking lot tollbooth by my office building is always cheery, no matter what the weather's doing. I bought him a gourmet hot chocolate with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon just to say, “Bless your smile”.

It’s always good to get back to my rural home again.

No matter what it seems, the earth is warming. About three weeks ago the tree wells showed up at the base of the birch and spruce trees on my property, making them look like they’d just been plunked down into the snow. It was the first harbinger of spring and with them, the birds began to sing again.

Then a series of rain and ice storms varnished the remaining snow into a sturdy sheen. High winds polished the surface until it gleamed like my mom’s boiled icing. We donned our ice walkers and travelled through the woods like mountain goats.

The deer, unable to dig through the hard crust, started hanging out in the village, where kind people fed them apples.

Last night, a gentle snow fell with flakes as big as wood shavings I went outside and sat on a snowbank to watch. In the dim light, the sky was filled with diamonds. Gradually, in the utter silence, I could hear the snowflakes landing on my eyebrow, cheek, chin, ear. They melted quickly and dripped down my face.

Today, the sun shone. Leaving my icewalkers at home, I tramped down our trail thinking the several inches of new snow would give me traction. One misstep on a slope sent me sliding into the wide three-foot deep treewell of a large fir tree. As my feet hit the trunk, it unleashed its coating of snow and covered me. I sat there, trapped in this hollow at the base of the tree, covered in snow, laughing. A curious pine siskin landed on a nearby alder branch with a husky tee-ee-ee. I twittered back and he cocked his head to peer in at me, no doubt wondering about this strange creature huddled under the branches making odd noises.

I wish I didn’t have to go back to work on Monday.


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Diane said...

That is one of my pet peeves: people grumbling about the weather. Just accept it, embrace it. It changes our entire outlook when we turn away from the negativity to reaching and touching the optimism of what we have.


graham said...

I just found your blog and really like what you have to say.

Weather is a beautiful thing. In Southern New Brunswick we're blessed with 4 wonderful seasons and countless types of weather. I grew up in farm country looking forward to snowstorms and ice storms as a new environment for play. Rain and thunder created endless excitement and fog made the world a mysterious place.
I live in Saint John now where the complaining never stops. But I'm trying to help people see that if you engage with the weather (rain or shine) then life can become fun.