Wednesday, 27 November 2013

On va vers hiver

It's here! For weeks the anticipation has been building. Will it or won't it snow tonight? This weekend? Before December?! And tonight here it is, the bright, white blanket putting all our childish fitfulness to rest. And again with the firsts—this is my first First Snow.

Two weeks ago as I walked home from class at lunchtime, the sky dusted down the tiniest of snowflakes that melted as they touched my jacket. This is it!, I thought. The next morning it tried again, and the more adventurous of my two black cats—tropically born and bred—came trotting into the kitchen after his morning garden survey with a sprinkle of white flakes across his back. Definitely it! And then...nothing.

Ice has slunk into the nooks and crannies, making my daily walk treacherous, with every puddle and pooling frozen on the footpaths and often hidden under piles of leaves. Between last Friday and today the lake in Parc La Fontaine has incrementally frozen, too. And now the late night revellers who want to challenge the ice have had to resort to bigger and bigger objects to throw at it to test their respective strengths. Drunken man vs ice. The ice has obviously remained resolute, and logs and rocks and garbage sit dejected on its surface.

In preparation for their trials ahead, the city's squirrels are as fat as they are going to get after early November's feast on Halloween's abandoned pumpkins. The sight of the mauled and maimed remains of jack-o'-lanterns strewn throughout the neighbourhood has been more gruesome and disturbing than most people's costumes!

But tonight I'm content to go to bed and dream of crisp, clean snow. And I hope to wake up tomorrow to a fresh new city that will charm me all over again. I will enjoy the novelty of my first First Snow while I can, at least until the relentless cold forces me inside and I begin to dream of summer.

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