Snow, and more snow – in November! Brrrrrr! (Okay, you out-of-the-Lower-Mainland people can stop laughing at me now!) And the weatherman says more of this is on the way!
But it was a winter wonderland as I returned from visiting my mother last night—the kind of winter wonderland that most of us would like for one day a year—Christmas day.
I’d dreamed of taking a break to a sunny southern clime right about now. But that plan got waylaid by some medical procedures I’m in the midst of. Meanwhile, several friends of mine currently in Mexico keep reminding me how pleasant it is down there.
And the non-stop World Cup coverage has us constantly being reminded of the weather contrast they’re experiencing in Qatar. [By the way, why does a tiny country like Qatar, with a population of 3 million, and ranked #50 in the world in soccer/football, get to host a whole world Cup, while we, a large country with a population 13 times their size, and ranked nine spots better, have to share it, four years from now, with the U.S. and Mexico—and we get a mere 8 of the 64 games? – just wondering!]
But I digress.
This beautiful snow and sunny cold (at the moment of writing, this last day of November) reminds me of my growing-up years in Saskatchewan, where it was often a beautiful, sunny, snowy cold for three months straight, starting about this time of year. I didn’t mind it then.
So, why should I now? Just because I’ve had the occasional warm weather experience in winter, and enjoyed it immensely?
As I reflect on this, I’m reminded how blessed I actually am with the great alternatives winter brings to my life.
For one, this weather is greatly contributing to the thrills I’ll soon enjoy with my season’s pass to Cypress Mountain Resort.
Second, I get to enjoy curling, a sport I picked up a few years ago that adds special delight, and needed exercise, to my winter. That alone would keep me from spending too much time in the sunny south, as so many of my cohort do.
Substitute hockey, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, pickleball, or whatever you like, for curling and skiing. Or maybe just building a snowman. But, the bottom line: it’s our adaptability and our attitude that more determine our state of mind and our content with the circumstances.
A couple of nights ago I had a conversation with an old friend who lost almost everything in a fire in her condo last summer. Insurance is looking after her while she awaits repairs. She’s temporarily living in a 600-sq-ft condo, while her 950-sq-ft apartment gets rebuilt.
“I’m not moving back there,” she said. “I’ll sell it as soon as it’s ready. I’m so enjoying living more simply with less stuff, and 600 sq ft is plenty for me.” “Besides,” she says, “this experience has helped me develop a whole new community of people around me, that I want to remain a part of.”
Then she recounted to me the many calamities that had befallen her over the last year: a fall that produced a serious concussion (I know, I met her during that time and was extremely concerned about her health), the fire, the passing of her mother, then her sister, then a work colleague.
She has as much reason as anyone to be down on life.
I’ve always known her to be a cheerful person, though, the kind that’s adaptable to whatever circumstances that come her way. She’s always finding joy in her current circumstances. On this call, she seemed like one of the happiest people I know, despite everything.
Now, I could never see myself in a 600-sq-ft box. But she also helped me to be reminded of the fact I sure don’t have much to complain about, especially something as trivial as the weather.
Hey, gotta run! Get in some curling practice. I’ve got a bonspiel this weekend.