Yesterday, I finished reading Gopnik's Massey Lectures on Winter at the coffee shop. It's not unusual for me to cry when I finish a book. Sometimes, I'm acutely aware of the author's effort and feel enormously moved by the whole endeavour that's unfolded before me. And other times it's the characters, the story closing that fills me with a sense of tragic catharsis.
I couldn't figure out why Gopnik's lectures hit me so hard. And then I realized: They made me feel about Canada the way I felt about Canada when I wanted to emigrate so badly, when I returned to my homeland and felt lost and pined for the space and the cold of Canada.
And I remember when I got back to Dublin after my Masters. It was Christmas and Grafton St was thronged with people and it was typically mild weather, in the teens celsius. And I had the most intense panic attack. Two years in the foothills of the Rockies and I'd forgotten how to be around that many people. And I missed the intense cold of Calgary, where you didn't need Christmas lights to tell you when winter had arrived.
I'll never forget that time in Dublin. How familiar it all was and how lost I felt in it. And so I'd close my eyes and think of winter in Canada. I was unashamedly romantic about it. I thought about drifts of snow and icicles, those little crystals that form before your eyes when it gets really, really cold, the feeling of your hair freezing and the sound of stamping feet after a walk in the snow.
But maybe the days of bankable seasons are decreasing everywhere. Yesterday it was 8 degrees in Toronto; positively spring-like. And of course now that winter is real again, I enjoy those milder, respite days. But there's something to those uncomfortable extremes too... I miss them this year. And when I'm without them, I remember how much I missed deep Canadian winters when I was cut off from them.
Today, I'll start a new book, The Marriage Plot most likely (though don't rule a change of heart out). And I'll do Sunday-like things, write e-mails to friends and cook dinner. I'll take more long walks, thankful for ice-free paths. But before I go to bed, I'll check the weather and hope it says snow...
Products: Dupatta Ameira from Matta | 7 for all mankind jeans from Net-a-Porter | Thakoon Sheer Yoke Blouse from La Garconne | Frye Paige boots from Gravity Pope | Lip gloss from Nars | Mulberry necklace from Titlee | Maison Martin Margiela Line 11 Bag from La Garconne | The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides