What I learned from my first Canadian winter

Posted on 09 August 2015

Soaking up the rays!

I remember when we moved to Canada a few years ago. We were living in Edmonton and it was moving into summer. The sky was blue, the grass was green. But I didn't feel like it was super hot. Coming off the back of a tropical Brisbane summer, this beautiful weather felt more like autumn to me. Beautiful clear sunny days, but I still kept my jumper (aka sweater) nearby for the evenings.  

One day, driving along, I remember seeing a girl walking to Dairy Queen in shorts and a singlet and commented to Dave " I wonder why people even buy summer clothes here? Summer is so short." I didn't really see the point for two to three months of warm weather.  

Winter came. It was bitterly cold. There are not even words for the depth of cold. I think my body has blocked it from my memory! I have never lived in such an incredibly different environment than my relaxed outdoorsy Brisbane lifestyle than this freezing city of Edmonton. What's all this -30 weather business? white outs? indoor living? down-filled coats? ski boots everyday? (my definition of a closed in shoe up until this point in life was a ballet flat...so blissfully naive!) We bunkered down and navigated through this foreign season.

Six months of snow and cold can change you in strange ways. When summer finally did roll around (or even when it hit +10 degrees), I shed my coat and boots as quickly as I could. It was me walking to the park with the kids everyday in shorts and a singlet, absorbing every single ray of warmth and sun that beat down on me. It felt familiar. It felt so beautiful. How my perspective had changed after going through a winter! 

Remembering this just today, I can't help but see how this relates to my life at the moment. I was always a pretty "happy go lucky" person. I loved life and always laughed loud. But after going through a 'winter' of sorts, it's amazing how my perspective has changed. How much more I appreciate the 'summer' and joy that I see starting to return. I love that I am starting to giggle inside again. I can look forward to fun events. I can laugh a little more freely. It feels familiar. It feels so good. I still don't like winter, but I appreciate the summer so much more because of it!

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