Blue Monday: another way to decode winter
I doubt I will focus much on the weather in this blog, but I'm in a position to tell my fellow Canadians why this dubious day is a blessing. I spent seven years based in Mexico City, following five years in Washington where winter is negligible for a Canuck. When I first arrived, I saw two seasons in the Mexican capital, dry and sunny and rainy. But even after I learned to differentiate and appreciate the subtle changing of nature - the jacaranda blooming in February or people bundled in woolen layers at positively balmy temperatures - I missed the Canadian seasons, more desperately with each passing year. Most of the time I was on the road in tropical climates, not even tasting the temperature changes Mexico City has to offer. I missed freezing my ears white on the outdoor rink and boasting about it.
This is something we all know but let me remind you. Without a hard winter, there is no joyous, over-the-moon, wonderful excitement of spring. I missed that in Mexico. My garden bloomed all year around (one way or the other) and I missed lining up at garden centres as soon the temperature stays above freezing for two consecutive spring days. I missed that crazy optimism that allows us to plant - against all good advice - before the 24th of May. I missed winter and I missed being at home so I could complain like everybody else about how awful it is.
Like I said: this isn't something you don't know. Dormancy, rebirth, renewal, etc., etc. It's at the heart of mythology and story-telling. But it's true. Spring is coming. The light is already increasing, that late February day when you first really notice it going home from work is almost here and the joy of spring almost upon us. How would we recognize it without all the shovelling?
Tomorrow I will return to the more important topics expected by discerning readers of Political Decoder. Is there one?