Almost all of us here on the East Coast of Canada complain about winter, and that's not going to change anytime soon. The complaining I mean, global warming absolutely threatens winter as we know it. I completely understand the frustration as it is bitterly cold, cancels events/plans, cleaning off vehicles/driveways, makes driving treacherous, and overall costs more due to heating costs. There are lots more reasons it can be irritating but sometimes it helps to take a look at the big picture.
You will absolutely hear me complain about winter, I'm not one who looks forward to it for skiing or snowmobiling, they are the die hard winter fans. I do however realize how fortunate we are and wouldn't trade it for anything. Snow gives us opportunity to enjoy activities so many places in the world miss out on. We have sliding, skating, building forts, snowball fights, skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and last but not least maple syrup. Winter does more than just provide activities though.
Here in Atlantic Canada we know we get an extra dose of winter compared to many parts of Canada with snow building up to epic proportions some years. That in itself though can be a positive in that it can create some of the most breath taking scenery on the planet. I remember in 1992 when we had the six foot snow storm and while it shut the city down for a week, it was absolutely stunning. The devastating ice storms we have had are certainly damaging and nobody wants to live without electricity, but to see the sun refracting through ice covering everything transforms our everyday into almost something from another world. The divinely artistic patterns of snowflakes and frost are unparalleled in my opinion.
If you think of it from the perspective of many other places in the world you might not detest winter so much. We seldom and certainly in no great magnitude have to deal with tornados or hurricanes that not only cause vast destruction but claim lives in great numbers. The same can be said for earthquakes and volcanoes and other natural disasters. That's not to say we have no natural disasters, as many can attest to flooding and storms but the magnitude still pales in comparison to many parts of the world. And that is only accounting for the natural disasters of our world.
Factors that are caused by humans can be equally devastating such as smog and pollution. I spoke with a customer service representative on the phone this morning who works in India and he was telling me how the smog is really bad right now and to go outside they must wear masks. It was actually that conversation that lead to me writing this blog about winter. I realized how fortunate we are to have air that is so clean comparatively to many other parts of the world and if it stings cause it is so cold, so what?
So this winter I am going to try and be far more positive about winter and realize just how wonderful we have it here in Canada. And that extra heaping of winter we get on the East Coast makes me love New Brunswick all the more. The snow down my back snaps me aware of my sense of touch. The howling winds during a snowstorm remind me of my sense of hearing. The glistening of the sun off the snow covered trees blesses my sight. The smell of evergreens in the forest fill my nostrils with the smell of Christmas. And that oh so sweet maple tastes like nectar of the gods. I, for one, love winter when I really think about it even if it is not every single moment.
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