…dear Minus 25 Degrees Celsius, dear 70 km ph Winds and your Death-chill-Factor,

what the wind makes out of snow

Thank you for finding a way to freeze a substantial part of the city’s water system – at the very point in our heavy winter when we collectively agree to become grumpy that the world is not green and growing.

The first birds have come north, singing thinly in the cold, but – singing!  Each is reported like an omen and we fear for their lives in the brutal crunch of minus 35.  Then the temperature rises a few degrees to minus 12, skies clear to reveal blue sky yellow sun and we shed our coats in celebration, only to heave them on again a few hours later when the wind bites into minus 20, (feels like minus 38) again.  We each want to stay in bed under blankets or max their VISA on an unplanned trip to Cuba NOW.  Sweaters are coveted for warmth not style and thick woolen socks worth double their weight in gold…


This year there’s a deeper freeze to contend with.  For the first time in at least one generation, possibly two, we the city folk need to contend with what the country folk have known forever, that we are not entitled to comfort without appreciation, warmth without work, nourishment without conscious, proactive, collaborative effort.  All the automatic things we do – toilets, bathroom sinks, bathrubs and shower stalls, kitchen sinks, kettles, glasses, pots for boiling, living potted plants – all of these require replenishment from a source that is now dry and frozen.  We actually need to think about … how water?  Where water?  Need water.

Third-floor roof of the studio building.  Looking Southwest across the harbour

Third-floor roof of the studio building. Looking Southwest across the harbour

We of the four seasons climate are frozen deeply into this cold place where nothing flows, where movement requires effort, just when we would normally be feeling the ebb of winter…


Instead we now know just a little more about our small city’s system for water into tap – the pipes, the flow, the people, the equipment, the efficacy.  We have some time to think about it, since this isn’t going away fast.

We share our resources, our houses, our bathrooms, showers and sinks.  We’re crying Discomfort! but also I think we whisper appreciation for the ones out there all night in feels like minus forty whose job it is to pit themselves against weather and harsh, and try to fix, try to fix, try

Spring seems like years away.  But it will come and all of this will transform into a story we will tell and tell again.  Remember the end of February 2015…?

I want to thank you, Snow, Cold and Wind, for all of this.

When in six weeks I stand t-shirted and digging in my garden I shall think of the winter show of 2014-15.

And I shall miss you.