I'm a romantic, I know that, but I can't get over the comfort that snow seems to bring here. It's just a much more natural state in the Great White North. Shouts and screams of playing children replace the birdsong of the abandoning migrants. The ground crunches with every step, and the air feels ultimately more real.
Besides its beauty, snow requires a set of rituals. You have to zip up with a scarf, hat and mits. You bang your boots every time you enter the indoors. And, the scraping: mornings are filled with the "raspa, raspa" sound that gave snow cones their name in San Antonio, except this is the sound of ice scraped from windshields. In the afternoons the sound changes to shovels on sidewalks as homeowners and businesses clear the way or face a possible fine for not doing so.
I feel better when it snows here. It's familiar, it's inviting, it's soothing and it's calm. Everything has to slow down. Everyone drives slower and you have to walk with care. Sudden movements in either case could cause injury.
Life just feels more deliberate in the winter in Saskatchewan. It's a good thing for both the mind and the soul.
When people hear that I spend my winter here and summer in California, I often get, "you're doing it wrong!" But for me, this slow down is the perfect respite from a fast paced life, and a good reminder of how I want to live.