Monday, January 07, 2008

Winter in Ottawa

Growing up in Nepal, I imagined that winters in Canada meant deep blankets of fluffy white snow. When we moved to Saskatchewan in '86 I was disappointed by the dry, bare winter ground. Sure, there was snow, but never like I'd imagined.

'Til the winter of 2007 that is. This has been a record-breaking year for snowfall in Ottawa. The city has already spent millions clearing roads of the metre and a half of snow that has fallen in the last month. Often the snowplows just can't keep up and cars get stuck on residential streets and in parking lots. It's messy, but it's just like what I'd dreamed of as a kid. I'm loving it.

Of course, I'm not the one who has to clear it. Thanks (?) to my physio injury - the chronic pain in my shoulder - I can't do such things as shovel mounds of heavy snow. V keeps talking about buying a snowblower, esp. after he comes in from a two hour stint of shoveling our driveway and sidewalk.

But since I'm not the one battling the snow, I enjoy it all the more. Today I walked out to the little island between Ontario and Quebec that is just down the road. The fog that's hung over the city all day was so thick I could taste it. Everything seemed slightly mysterious, hidden beneath the deep snow and behind the mist. Dark, naked branches of trees cut stark silhouettes against the pale sky and snow. It was absolutely enchanting.