Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Looking at temperatures across Canada, I see a depressing number of minus signs. The sole exception is the southwest corner of British Columbia, where we are already enjoying temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. Several weeks ago, we had our last snowfall, but now we’re starting to see the first signs of spring. Does anyone wonder why those of us in Vancouver have a tendency to phone friends and family in places like Calgary and Winnipeg to have a nice, warm gloat?

Many city people probably pay minimal attention to the seasons. Except for short dashes to their cars, they spent most of their time in heated buildings. However, for those of us whose daily exercise takes them out into the elements, the coming of spring has a certain urgency – although far less, granted, than it does for a farmer.

For one thing, running or cycling on snow is either difficult or impossible. For a runner like me, it’s like running on sand, with every kilometer feeling like two or more. And, like sand, it’s hard on the ankles. Add unplowed sidewalks and the need to contest the streets with cars, many of which lack all-season tires, let alone snow tires (Vancouverites are almost in as deep denial about receiving snow as they are about rain), and getting any sort of exercise becomes an ordeal. The fact that sweat pants bind my legs is just a winter torture unique to me.

Then, for morning exercisers like me, there’s the dark. Cars full of sleep-deprived, caffeine-motivated drivers are dangerous at the best of times, but trying to dodge them before sunrise adds a new dimension of horror, especially when you suddenly find yourself tiptoeing across a patch of black ice, waving your arms wildly and trying not to scream in panic as you try to keep upright.

But, somewhere in the last ten days, spring has definitely gained a hold. It was like trench warfare for a while – a tiny advance here, followed by an immediate setback, then the cycle repeating somewhere else – but at some indeterminate point, winter lost its grip.

Now, the only remains of snow are the mounds heaped up by snowplows – and they are diminishing everyday. The sun rose today just after 7am, meaning enough light to see by (and be seen) exists by 6:30, and the roads and sidewalks were mercifully ice-free. Crocuses and daffodils are thrusting up shoots of desperate green on the grass. In Dunbar, the first buds are showing, which means that, around our townhouse, they will appear within a week.

I’m not a victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and of course Vancouver winters are laughable by the standards of the rest of Canada. All the same, in December and January, I had the sense of keeping my head buried in my work, hunkering down in our living room as though it was a bunker in a war zone and waiting for better days.

Now those days have come, I feel a sense of relief, and a renewed need to be up and doing. With all these first signs of spring, the first cherry blossoms should be less than a month away – and then I’ll know that winter is gone beyond any recall.

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