Snow is both light and heavy, slow and fast, visible and not.
It’s a season of contrast.
I live in a Canadian province that stretches from Windsor/Detroit (on a latitudinal par with Northern California) to Hudson’s Bay – a stretch between 42 and 57N; from carolinian forest to tundra – “Ontario is Canada’s second largest province, covering more than 1 million square kilometres (415,000 square miles) – an area larger than France and Spain combined”, reports my provincial government.
Somehow, after exploring many other places on the planet, I became the sixth maternal generation to live in the one small town in this enormous province that gets the biggest annual snowfall (and rainfall). Owen Sound is nestled at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, which defines the west shore of Great Lake Huron and the rocky eastern shore of Georgian Bay. A note: I identify more with Georgian Bay than with Huron, which is like a lukewarm bath to swim in when all I want is the rejuvenating shock of cold water. GB is 80% the size of Lake Ontario, second-deepest of the world’s largest inland freshwater lakes, and is guarded by a hothead Anishnabe god called Kitchikewana. He called me back here from far far away and I came. For good reason.
The geneaology is important in a personal way. But the effect of all this falling water, both frozen/ light and heavy/ wet – that has shaped me and my understanding of the world in a very profound manner.
I think differently, because of it.
Snow, here, is peace. The wind on our walls; the vast plain of white outside our windows; the deeply understood value of fire and warmth; the call to our belly muscles as we shovel ourselves out of a four-foot blanket of confinement – we live in a kind of shared solitude that makes things clear and simple.
In an ocean full of the salt of complaint, I exult in my good fortune – to be Here.