We do not get a lot of severe weather here in Guelph, Ontario. The occasional modest tornado touches down somewhere not far away. We had a considerable drought last July. It is nothing compared to what millions of people have lived through (and a few have not survived) in recent times. Still, there is nothing quite like a driveway full of heavy, wet snow to remind us we are at nature’s mercy.
When I was growing up on a private beach road, the winters seemed long and hard. I had to hike a kilometre to catch the school bus (or more often run, because as a child I was always behind schedule). Every winter storm the, neighbourhood had to rally to push a few cars that got stuck around the bend in the road. The wind blew mercilessly across flat Essex County, so we always had to put up snow fence to prevent the road from drifting too badly. It seemed a lot of work. Mostly I did not like winter.
Disliking four months of the year was an unhealthy attitude to bear. I have had to make peace with the slogging season.
Winter in the city is easier but drearier. Recent years seem to have brought less snow, but not this time around. The ground has remained covered since before the new year, and several considerable storms have come through, though not as severe as elsewhere. We will remember 2013 as a good, old-fashioned winter.
A storm Tuesday night dumped about 15 cm, and as I write this later Wednesday afternoon the snow is still falling. We exhausted ourselves clearing the driveway once today and there is more work to come.
Snow also reminds me how badly I need to start a proper exercise regimen to get back in shape.
Snow makes me feel insignificant. Nature carries on this big drama of creative extravagance that has nothing to do with me, nothing to do with intelligence. It means nothing. It is just there, causing inconvenience and toil. Surely, if it continues this way long enough it will bury all our mess and meanness.
It will keep on being beautiful, regardless of what we think or do.