Rainy Day Brews

I have had a turbulent relationship so far with the weather of 2014. Kicking the year off with the aftermath of one of the most destructive ice storms in Toronto’s recorded history, we learned first-hand the difference that harmless-looking little drops can make, as the incessant frozen drizzle brought towering trees, fancy homes and vehicles to destruction, and effectively plunged most of Canada’s largest metropolis into cold and darkness throughout the holiday season.

This was just a preview for the long, cold, dark winter that would follow us for the next three months without pause. After moving from Toronto to Peterborough, Ontario in January, my husband and I adjusted ourselves to the fact that we wouldn’t see much of our new town while we hibernated alongside neighbours in our homes as a slate-grey sky dropped mountain after mountain of snowfall upon our humble abode. The loneliness that already accompanies winter bleakness was exacerbated by being a new face in a new town while working from home, as it isn’t easy to make new friends when no one wants to even leave their house for three months, including us.

And then, as if by some sort of forgotten miracle, signs of spring suddenly started to shed their optimistic rays upon us. There was sunshine! And warmth! The thermometer read 16°C today – amazing! And tomorrow it’s 21°C – unbelievable! People are having weddings again! And look at all the bicycles! Drive slowly to avoid the kids playing ball hockey in the street! Aren’t you excited for summer?

Never mind that as the snow melted most of the towns north east of Toronto started to flood, including our lovely Peterborough Little Lake putting a couple public parks and parking lots underwater and making some halfhearted threats to deluge the basement of the local art gallery. But still we responded more with amusement and fascination as small crowds convened over the footbridge to take pictures or watch winter-weary tweens dare each other to wade into the frigid overflow, filling the air with shrieks of shock and delight. Meanwhile older Peterboroughians responded to the increased lake capacity in their distinctly outdoors-adventurous way.

1398028986456   VIA @HARLEYWPAYNE ON TWITTER, from http://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/2014/4/17/look-flooding-in-peterborough

And then, this week. It started off well enough — on Monday a beautiful sunny day in the plus-teens Celsius. On Tuesday it rained. And rained and rained. I had the day off and tried to go out, defying the effect of weather on my mobility, but the chilliness and wet along with a head cold I had acquired over the weekend only made me more miserable. On Wednesday it rained. I didn’t try to go out as my head cold worsened. I started feeling more and more distant from other human beings. I downloaded Candy Crush, breaking my personal cellphone game ban and giving into addiction. Today I woke up to more rain. As my body craved sleeping an extra hour in the morning rather than running to the gym, I took it. Heavenly.

Scanning through my Instagram feed that morning, I later noticed that I wasn’t alone among my friends in my mid-week rainy day blues, and many of them had turned to the comforting aroma of coffee to help them make it through the otherwise dreary day. Determined to make this day better than the previous days of the thus-far disappointing week, I decided that a freshly ground brew was the perfect way to start today off on a sunnier note.

If only I could photograph the amazing aroma...ground to perfectionbreakfast brew

With every sip of fragrant brew, the sky seems a little bit brighter. Spring is here, and this is just part of it. There will soon be leaves on the trees. There are lots of friendly faces around, both new friends and those yet undiscovered. Summer is coming. And I am writing.

Better luck next time, weather of 2014!


Deep Freeze

In my new home I find myself outside of time, of routine and of purpose. I’ve had the bounty of living in very purposeful places over the last decade, able to hit the ground running on every landing. Here I have dropped down with a soft frozen thud; there is meant to be purpose here, but in sub-zero temperatures it’s difficult to spend much time outside in our new location, and working from home I see little more than the four walls that surround me.

The silence stretches out solidly enough that a frozen barrier has been extended between me and the rest of the world. Are we waiting for the summer sun to thaw us out? Like the maples in our yard, will I sit here looking skeletal and barren, yet inside teeming with life waiting to burst forth with the coming of a distant spring?


Posted in response to Daily Prompt: “The Outsiders” –  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/daily-prompt-outside-2/