Cold enough?

A cold day in Muskoka
A cold day in Muskoka

The thermometer says it’s -19 degrees Celsius outside right now, but wait… it actually feels like -26 C, thanks to the wind chill. Now that’s a real Canadian winter! Let me continue to shock you with some very cool numbers. Up in Muskoka, where my parents live, it’s currently -30 C with no wind chill. It’s the kind of cold that makes it hard to breathe as soon as you step outside. It tickles my lungs deep down, waters my eyes, and makes my eyelashes freeze so that they stick together in the corners.

I love this weather, when the whole world is in a spectacular state of deep-freeze, yet the sun continues to shine with intensity, reflecting off the mountains of white snow till they sparkle and gleam like hills of chilly diamonds. Car windows are iced, with frilly snowflake designs along the edges, and the snow makes a wonderful crunching sound when I walk, as if I were squeezing a box of cornstarch.

And yet, all I can hear are complaints. When I turned on CBC this morning, you would have thought we were in the midst of a national environmental emergency: “Keep the little ones inside… Avoid going out unless absolutely necessary… Extra warming stations available… Transit will be running throughout the night… Top news story of the day…” The most irksome comment was, “We’re only one month into winter and already we’re experiencing the second major cold snap. Torontonians have had enough.” I stared at my car radio in disbelief and felt like slapping it. “What do you expect?! We live in Canada, not Trinidad!”

I don’t understand the resentment that so many Canadians feel toward our natural climate. Why can’t we embrace it and feel proud of being able to handle such temperatures with relative ease? Frigid temperatures are no more uncomfortable than scorching tropical temperatures; in fact, I’d argue cold is easier to manage than heat. With the right clothing and a well-insulated house, the cold hardly disrupts the regular flow of life. Extreme heat, on the other hand, infects me with overwhelming lethargy, inability to sleep decently, and general discomfort.  

Learn how to snowshoe, and winter quickly becomes a whole lot more fun.
Learn how to snowshoe, and winter quickly becomes a whole lot more fun.

If the cold is so awful, please move somewhere else — or stop complaining. Canada comes with cold, like it or not, so Canadians might as well accept that fact and move on to important subjects, such as why the reliable presence of frigid temperatures in winter is actually a wonderful thing for the environment, rather than 2012’s unprecedented +11 degree C thaw mid-January that caused fruit trees to bloom, then die in bitter April frosts, destroying the year’s harvest. I’ll take predictable weather any day over seasonal anomalies.

you might also like:
Where is winter?
Bring on the winter storms!


9 thoughts on “Cold enough?

  1. Love this. Extreme temperatures make life more interesting. I just wish I was able to go on my hike since the weather is perfect now. People complaining about the weather irritates me to no end, be it too hot, too cold, too snowy, etc.

  2. Glad to hear complaining about the weather isn’t just a British trait. If it’s any consolation, all the nationalities in Qatar are doing it at the moment…except the Qataris!

  3. Honestly, I didn’t even notice it was colder than normal until I saw facebook posts about it. Just looked (and felt) like any other beautiful cold, sunny, winter day in Bruce County. The wind isn’t even that strong, which makes it that much more gorgeous. Am I going to take my 7 month old on a walk to enjoy this glorious day? Of course!

    1. Smart idea. Much to my disappointment, they didn’t even let the JK kids outside for recess all day long, due to the cold. As soon as I picked A. up, we headed to the playground for a long, bone-chilling play.

  4. I moved to Vancouver from Toronto this past Summer, and though I don’t miss the cold, this beautiful picture actually makes me wish for snow!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s