Monthly Archives: November 2008

Seasonal Cycle

It’s been snowing for three days now, the first real snowfall of the season. It’s a wonderful feeling to look outside and see it falling1. Winter brings it’s own sort of coziness, like the way sun is for sports and rain is for movies.

A lot of people don’t like the winter, whether it’s because they get tired shoveling, they’re late from cleaning the car, they don’t like dealing with the messiness, or they simply hate being cold. To me, it’s all part and parcel of living in the Great White North. The summer brings as many unpleasant issues — burning car seats, stifling heat, unavoidable sweat. I wouldn’t be able to appreciate one if it wasn’t for the other.

I tend to get tired of the weather only at the end of each season, because they seem to drag on for so long2. It’s a never-ending cycle of enjoying the new season, then missing the next one.

There’s this great poem by Shioh T’ao I think of when trying to explain this:

Spring comes, and I look at the birds;
Summer comes, and I take a bath in the stream;
Autumn comes, and I climb to the top of the mountain;
Winter comes, and I make the most of the sunlight for warmth.
This is how I savor the passage of the seasons.

My version would go something like this:

Spring comes, and I admire the blossoming feminine beauty;
Summer comes, and I go for a drive;
Autumn comes, and I fall in love with everything;
Winter comes, and I cherish the warmth.
This is how I savor the passage of the seasons.

This is why I love Canada. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

For now, I’m enjoying the snow.

  1. Admittedly, it’s been a mild winter so far; maybe I’ll feel differently when I have to scrape ice off my windshield at -40°C. []
  2. There’s a saying that Canada has only two seasons — winter and construction. []

Going Home

Bike in snow

I’m going home today. It’s been a great trip. Just one more stop for lunch with an old boss before I make the drive back to Ottawa.

Cracking pole

I miss sleeping in my own bed. It’s been a different bed almost every night. But the trip was also filled with good people. People who are truly touching. And cats.

Bike in snow

I’m not feeling as overstimulated as I expected. Maybe I’ve been too busy for it to sink in.

I’ll be leaving in the early afternoon to catch the sunset in the 250km stretch along the 401.

Conversations With My Father

We’re standing in his garage in our pajamas, with winter coats on. After a short drive around the block to bring the oil up to temperature, he pulls out the bright orange dipstick to teach me how to check the level.

Even though he’s never seen what’s under this hood before, he knows where everything is. Every nozzle for every fluid, every connector to every part. A sixth sense that all dads seem to have, like when a steak is cooked medium rare, and when the TV is just big enough.

This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this. A strange sort of bonding I rarely had in my childhood.

Inside, I’m showing him how to use Photoshop, to take the wrinkles out of his friend’s faces. Anything helps at this age, I suppose.

In my heart, I wish my dad had shown more interest in my photography. I wish he wanted one of the prints I brought, maybe to show other people and say that he was proud of me. But he didn’t. And I say nothing because it’s one of those things that shouldn’t have to be said.

He keeps bringing up his dance partner. The person who called him to make sure I arrived safely from the drive. He wears two new earrings in piercings that weren’t there the last time I saw him, a gift from her, and I wonder if “dance partner” is his euphemism for “mommy”.

I’m too scared to ask.

There’s no reason for me to stay more than a night, because there’s nothing more to be said.