Tuesday, January 15, 2008
A Proper Canadian Winter
It is a “Proper Canadian Winter”. What else can I call it when all the chilly rituals of legitimacy are being so strictly adhered to? With snow and frost hand-in-hand strutting about bullying, inspecting, and practicing ultimate control like a dictatorial brigade. Demanding uniformity and consolidation of January muster.
Let there be no doubt about it. This year an arrogant winter has taken charge that demands homage and respect. There is no ultimatum. Those few Dissenters, the silent and still inhabitants of woodland or field, brave enough and egotistic enough to flaunt part of their exterior are redressed with snow, veiled in frost, and re-dressed and re-veiled until they fuse into a world of plump look-a-likes.
Winter has taken charge of the ground. January has taken charge of the sky. The sun, usually so bright and cheery, is obliged to ‘disguise and withdraw’. For security of a proper winter it must hide its warmth, reduce its fire, and retreat from the fray.
And so, it remains close to the horizon partially eclipsed by an opaque curtain of winter haze. Not even daring to risk insubordination to the war measures of winter by flashing fires of defense at the impudent and mocking sun dogs encircling it. Looking more like a big ol’ moon than the sun.
Sure every year we have another winter, but for a Proper Canadian Winter, assimilation and allegiance is all. Every contingent and complement of the landscape must wear the trooper colors of white on white. Stability and peace only come when positive spaces are embossed with snow and negative spaces air-brushed with frost.
For too long, all those unsettled, improper winters have dogged us. Winters of confusion and instability that ravage fields and shamble landscapes. With intermittent mixes of snow, rain, sleet, and belligerent Chinooks that propagate ugly patches of mud and rudely interrupt the sleep of plants and warm-blooded beasts in hibernation.
So isn’t it sweet to see winter done up good and proper for a change without the usual slovenly bungling?
A Proper Canadian Winter gets my vote. I hope I haven’t spoken too soon.