Tuesday, November 29, 2005

On Advent and Vancouver's first snow


This shot was taken in August, during a backpacking trip in the Skoki Valley with Adam. I've posted it here to commemorate snowy days long past for me now, here in temperate Vancouver. It is strange how the last time I saw real snow was in August. Really though, snow is a gift. (This goes out to all you Winnipeggers, slipping and sliding on the stuff, cursing your way over icy sidewalks or into frozen keyholes.) Snow is the cheeriest member of the precipitation family. Rain--the melancholic teenager, sleet--the attention starved sibling. Snow is slow and unassuming. I love those fat and healthy flakes, floating towards my tongue under the glow of street lights suddenly made magical. One of snow's best voices is in its delightful squeak, underneath your sled, your tire, your heel. I will miss the presence of snow this winter, even though Winnipeg will grant me a few days' jaunt in my winter play clothes. Still, a mere flirtation with winter will be a pronounced change from a former long-term relationship. Today it snowed in Vancouver. Coincidentally, I also sipped my first eggnog latte, at Starbucks (cringe), where I probably paid as much for one steaming mug of nostalgia as a whole carton would've cost me. (While fighting off a sinking sensation of guilt at my pre "Nog's Eve" indulgence!) In my analysis, this pathetic version of Snow does not really deserve its namesake, for it didn't even care to stick around long enough to even be heralded as such. Nope, off it went, melting into the (still green) grass, the pavement, our jackets, anywhere that would conceal its true identity. Cowardly stuff. Snow can't handle this city, and this city can't handle snow. Nevertheless, it provided a nice dose of Christmasy coziness for me, now that November's embers are cooling into winter's bleakness. First Advent is passed and we are summoned to a time of Waiting, Expectancy, Hope. I have been recently invited to think of the bodily posture of expectancy, and to translate it to my spirit, as I wait for the Kingdom of Heaven to be founded upon this earth. What does that actually mean? I look at the people around me at the bus stops I've been frequenting since my beloved bike (#2) was snatched from my embrace last week. Eyebrows raised, body leaned forward, gaze looking out and over the distant horizon. What would it mean to live through the Advent season in this manner, with this kind of expectancy, as we beckon "Come, Lord Jesus, Come."

1 comment:

Mark B. said...

While reading your post, I found myself missing what was the bane of my existence the past 25 years. (Okay, it wasn't really the bane of my existence, but a little hyperbole is okay right?) Seriously though, this line:

"Snow is the cheeriest member of the precipitation family. Rain--the melancholic teenager, sleet--the attention starved sibling."

is perfect. (I'm curious, how would you describe 'corn snow'?) I can honestly say that I like snow, but only if I quickly qualify that claim with: "for certain things." I like it for skiing, sledding, playing snow football, and even just going for a walk in; I hate snow for the shoveling, the poor driving conditions, and I even hate snow for the fact that coldness is a prerequisite of its sticking around.

I think that if I lived somewhere that got no snow whatsoever, I'd make more trips to the mountains, but as it is, come spring time, I've had enough of the snow and I'm ready for the heat.

So that is way longer than I expected, but those are MY thoughts on snow...*shudder*.