Never have Canadians been so united in one complaint.
Our northern nation, collectively, is shocked and appalled by this winter.
There’s been a surfeit of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. And a wealth of dire prognostications as one cold-weather record is outdone by the next.
The most popular refrain this winter: “I’m not budging. I’m staying home.”
Second most popular: “Can’t talk right now! Strapping on my snowshoes to put out the garbage!”
We’ve become a nation of winter wimps. Yes, the hardy northern folk you’ve read about in books and seen in tourism commercials and airplane videos are no more. Gone, like the dodo bird.
That being the case, I imagine that there are robots running our schools and hospitals, driving our buses and subway trains, sanding our sidewalks, managing our electrical and gas supply and keeping our neighborhoods safe and protected. Someone has to be brave enough.
In the midst of this alarming breakdown in our national character, my friend Jean sent me photos of flowering cherry trees and rhododendrons and azaleas.
You’d never believe where they are from.
The west coast. Vancouver. Canada.
Scenes like these tend to cause a serious breach in relations between east coast and west coast Canadians. How can one part of Canada be enjoying bloomin’ trees and shrubs in February, while the rest of us are freezin’ our tails off? It hardly seems fair.
But I, for one, am thrilled. Thrilled that one small part of this country is blooming.
And grateful for friends who send pictorial reminders that spring does indeed follow winter. Yes, even here in the ‘frozen tundra’ of Ontario.
Thank you, Jean.