I sit here safely inside. The snow is swirling around swaying the trees, but it is still not enough to sweep the snow off their branches – there is just too much weight. The screen is still on my window, collecting speckles of snow. The collection of snow depends upon the surface. Screens are porous, catching each individual flake of snow. The unscreened window collects the snow in clumps.
Trees are different too. Coniferous trees carry their weight. Large amounts weigh them down collecting between the numerous needles. When I stood under one of these trees I felt like I was enclosed in a room, sheltered from the wind. Cedars carry small snowballs, clumping along where the trunk meets the branch.
Deciduous trees carry a slender line of snow along the branch. Birds and squirrels interrupt the line creating gaps. Outside the cottage window there is a feast attracting the few that decided to stay through the cold and snowy storms. The resident and labeled “kamikaze” squirrel jumps from the deck railing to the bird house filled with food, precariously hanging on the edge.
The snow collected on the ground is the most treacherous to us travelers. We must leave tonight to get to work tomorrow. Snow among the forest-lined road collects evenly – a smooth blanket. I am worried about the open country roads where the thin lines of drifting snow form creating a zigzag pattern. The wind sweeps across the farms picking up speed and blurring the distinction between field, ditch and road.
Back in the city, I pull out my running shoes again. It is my chance to explore. I leave my building and the clouds stand still temporarily. Once I get down to the park on the Lake, the white and wet pellets fly straight into my eyes. I can’t look up or my eyes will be filled with snow.
I circle the trees that are some of the oldest in my area. They are all about the same size, as most of them were planted in the same year – one of the largest ceremonial plantings in Canada. As I round the bend the wind is at my back. The white is layering on the rough brown surface – one of the few forms visible above the white. The backdrop is grey. I feel as though I am enclosed in a large forest, although I know the towering cityscape is just behind.
I proceed past an open area where a memorial has been constructed. There are two circular shapes, each split in half.
“The memorial is dedicated to the many Canadians who served their country at home and abroad. It was designed by John McEwen and features two pairs of bronze gates in the shape of a ship’s prow. The openings and vistas formed by their north-south orientation provide entranceways which symbolize the departure of troops and their return home.”
I will continue to pass through this place, remembering that I, like many others, have come home, although to my inclination it is my second home.