|From my back door, across the field, and into Kione's winter wonderland in the woods.|
The joy of a Canadian winter is not your face freezing off in a minus 30 wind chill. Nor is it having the sun set at 4:00 pm. Or driving like you are on a skating rink. No, the premier joy of winter for me and many other winter enthusiasts, is snow. Puffy, powdery, every flake is unique snow.
A blanket of fresh snow is a gift from Kione, the Greek goddess of snow and winter. Around this time of year she leaves her work, cursed by some, thanked by others.
But if you have the time to enjoy snow-bound areas, natural or otherwise, you would probably agree that it is a whole lot of fun, not to mention quite magical. The possibilities and pleasures are endless: skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, skating, fat tire biking, ice climbing, glacier traverses in the back country of the Rockies, winter camping, tobogganing and sledding.
|I'm not the only creature leaving tracks in the snow in these woods.|
Those who like snow, like it a lot. This is the camp I fall into. The beginning of a snow storm is one of the most exciting times of the year, and not only because of the pleasures of outdoor activities. A snow storm changes everything for everyone all at once, uniting us all in temporary survival mode.
When Kione comes, she throws an icy wrench into the functioning of the machinery of civilization, just to remind us who is boss.
Everything either slows down or stops completely after a big snowfall. Roads and highways close. You can walk down the middle of deserted city streets, quiet, muted, and muffled by the mantle of white stuff. You might be the only thing moving, besides the flakes gently falling around you.
Exciting and intense storms cause airports to shut down, and airports never shut down. It is one of the rare times that civilization lifts its foot off the gas pedal and takes a break from the maniacal pace.
It can get so crazy that people actually stay home and enjoy each other's company over cups of hot beverages. They stay home and revel in the comfort of their warm and snugly shelters separating them from the snow piling up at the door.
Then some of us go out to play.