The Canadian winter was harsh and unrelenting, in my childhood memories. When school started in the fall, it was cold enough. Back on with the jackets! When winter crawled in during November though, it was a real test of our strength. There is not much more unpleasant than being woken up early, still enveloped by your cozy, warm and inviting blanket, only to see the snows on the trees, feel the coolness in the air and being forced from your comforting cocoon.
Better get a move on or you’ll be late!
Walking bare-feet on the cold floors, running to the bathroom, throwing your clothes on, all while being rushed like cattle by a cowboy.
Go go go! That’s a good boy. Mustn’t be late.
Grab something for breakfast. Out the door. Mentally and emotionally still under the warm, woolen covers but physically marching through the cold Canadian tundra, like a prisoner being taken to Siberia.
There were comforts though. Hot chocolate, good friends and great times. When one sits in the coziness of the indoors with good company and warm beverages and looks at the tiny white flecks swirling around outside, one shivers but in a good way.
As after an exam, one feels a sense of boundless freedom and joy with endless possibilities on the horizon, so does one feel that contrast, that sense of having escaped from a difficulty, only when that difficulty is so close, yet so separated by brick and window and material effort, as to be rendered completely impotent and harmless. Only in Canada.