I sauntered into Payless Shoes the other day to find a replacement for the lime green flats I bought on sale two years ago to go to Europe. I didn’t find lime green flats. Much to my surprise, I found Winter instead.
Winter did not go gently into that good night this year, or wherever Winter goes when it’s finished. It refused to play by the ruIes. The book says that spring begins on March 21. Winter thumbed its nose at that. It served up a low of - 20° C and a high of -9 °. April showers? Relegated to rhyme. What about April snow, April ice, April chills instead? In fact, Winter left under duress, kicking and screaming. It had to have one more tantrum before picking up its toys and going home. So it mustered the worst storm of the year—two days of snow curtains and wind, and a deposit of 20 centimetres of snow. Still, it wasn’t satisfied. It had to crust the highway with a thick coat of rutted ice. Only then did it seem to give up.
Winter, though, didn’t go home. Winter went underground. Or rather, indoors. It sneaked into stores and supermarkets. It shape-shifted into the ventilation systems of office buildings and librairies. Incognito under long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, long pants, and socks, it dared the world to notice the clues it left in goosebumps and blue fingernails. And why not be brazen? What does winter have to fear? Its reign of terror will continue unabated as long as people have to store shawls and old sweaters at work, think twice about going bare-legged, and make a suit jacket an integral part of spring and summer fashion decisions just to be warm. Winter is omnipresent. Has winter really won, though?
I hold on to the hope that winter will be hoist with its own petard. Its frigid indoor retreat will drive people outside to bask in the therapy of the sun’s rays penetrating their back, to recall the caress of a warm breeze. Just like I headed right back outside after scanning the aisle of Women’s 8 for lime green, people fed up with being cold will vote with their feet, and reject Winter’s summer home. Businesses will suffer. Absenteeism will rise. Shoppers and workers will opt for summer, and reject winter once and for all.
Careful, everyone. Winter is still around. It’s just gone indoors!