Today I realised, for the first time, that I am a winter person. I’ve never been someone who is particularly keen on winter. For me winter, once the holiday season was over, was always grey, miserable and a little depressing.
Winter in the North East of England was about gale force winds and drizzle. It was walking home from school at 4:00pm in the dark, so drenched in rain that your tights clung to your red raw legs. It was having no money after Christmas, but wanting to get drunk in the same club you’ve been frequenting since you were a teenager, because anything to speed up (or blackout) those months was a bonus. And the rare occasion that it did snow, the wet flakes would fall to the ground and turn into a brown mush within hours, for the most part anyway. Those rare days of pure white snow seem more like a distant childhood memory than anything.
I guess the grey weather, partially to blame on living by the sea, is why I always kind of hated winter and why I self-diagnosed with SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
But since arriving here, everything has changed.
Winter is so magnificent here. I mean, yeah, there are those days with freezing ice rain, which clings to the wires overhead, creating a deathly tightrope for the birds brave enough to come out this time of year. The days when the TTC are thrown into a state of disarray and angry commuters are forced to try and make it home by foot, if a trusty subway line cannot rescue them.
But then there are days like today, when the snow begins to float down and blanket the world in white. Everything looks better when it’s covered in snow. Like all of the blemishes and imperfections of the city vanish and everything becomes surreal.
It turns me into a child again: my feet searching for some fresh, not yet trodden in snow, just so I can hear that satisfying crunch, crunch, crunch.
And everything is so peaceful that it’s hard to believe that you’re in one of the biggest cities in the world. I don’t know if there is some kind of scientific explanation as to why the sound becomes dulled (there probably is), but everything is just so serene.
It isn’t difficult to get around, and as long as you bundle up, you are pretty free to walk wherever you want and take in the beauty.
Back in England, if the temperature dropped below 5 degrees, I wasn’t impressed.
Now I can run for miles on a -11 day and feel nothing but satisfaction.
Back home winter was something to dread and despise, but here, finally, I want to apologize to winter. I guess you aren’t so bad after all.