November Greys

The political news is depressing. Cat fights abound, cats screaming and scratching to make the best impression upon us, for our votes, with nary a wisp of good humour to be seen. The cats are incompetent, boastful, and na├»ve, and their shiny coats are rapidly losing their gloss and floss. Let’s talk about the weather instead.

Where is it anyway?

Oh sure, in other parts of Canada, winter has come as always, but here in Toronto, winter is sulking in the north and west, leaving us with warm temps and cold rains from the south. Once upon a time, you could count on November for being grey with endless cloudy skies, getting cold and colder until one morn, around about the time of the Santa Claus parade, about mid-month, fat snowflakes would float down nestling with each other on the cold ground, building layer upon layer a beautiful white blanket that covered gum-littered old concrete, peeling roof tiles, and grieving bare trees.

Now we have the sun peering out, usually not when forecast, the snow staying away, and the city resplendent in all its ugliness. Every piece of litter, every bullying David Miller garbage bin, every eyesore is revealed under the naked trees while we wait between the time of lush leaves and the time of sparkling blankets. In-between time is the hardest. It’s neither what was or what is to come. The past is over; the future unknown; and the present in a holding pattern. What is one to do?

Go shopping for Christmas before winter ruins it.

Although I have new boots -- and will no longer have to struggle and swear over my old ones -- or that’s the theory anyway -- I rather like not having to shop for presents buried in a winter coat, scarf, hat, mitts, boots, slowly burning up, steam rising from my head, until I finally stumble out of the stores laden and pissed off. Shopping in a light coat definitely beats shopping in winter gear. But once I’ve shopped, I would like winter to arrive -- and to stay until it is time for Spring to move in, until it is time for brisk blazing days out in the snow, cosy fires, and quiet reading moments under a blanket to give way to melting ice, the smell of new earth, and pretty blossoms. Every moment has its season; when its season doesn’t come as anticipated, entropy rules, chaos erupts, and the bugs proliferate in summer. Whither winter?