Welcome to the “February Fed-Ups”. Not the blahs, not the blues, and not the dumps or the doldrums. Not even the KMN (twitter speak for ‘kill me now’) moment as yet another snowfall looms on the horizon.
I know that I’m taking a big risk here, speaking of being ‘fed-up’ when I live in what is affectionately called The Left Coast, or even, La-La Land. We were lured out here by the siren call of a promise that whispered, “It doesn’t snow out here. We don’t get cold temperatures. Life in the winter is easy.”
And so it seemed. But this year, like the rest of the country from coast to coast to coast, we are enduring the kind of winter that is normal elsewhere but hasn’t been seen in these parts for nearly twenty years.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” they say, as I shovel out the end of the driveway where the park plow (a garden tractor with a small blade), has piled up the snow against my carport/tent.
“Oh, look at the trees all covered with snow,” they say, as I jab my broom up against the inner roof, trying to dislodge the snow that is weighing the plastic canvas down into deep pockets.
“There’s enough snow to build a snowman!”, they exclaim as I shovel out an area big enough for a little dog to do what needs to be done.
“And we’re getting more tomorrow, too,” they remind me as I trudge out to the bird feeders and dole out a generous supply, and then re-heat the hummingbird nectar and rehang the feeders, and fish out a couple of slices of bread for Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.
“Don’t you just love it?” they ask as I dig the snow out of my window boxes filled with early primulas, inspect my defunct jasmine vine, and break up the ice in my little fish pond.
No, I don’t love it. I’m fed up with it. It’s not what we were promised. It’s not what I expected. It’s not what we’ve enjoyed for the past two winters.
Arriving as winter refugees in the promised land, we never thought we’d ever have to endure winter hardships again.
I re-read my words, “Winter refugees in the promised land”. I feel a catch in my throat and my eyes fill with tears.
How can I so write so lightly of “refugees” when my ears are filled daily with stories of boats overloaded with desperate people navigating through dangerous waters to a distant shore; of people trudging through deep snow across an empty landscape to the small town of Emerson, Manitoba; of worshippers in Quebec City whose prayers are shattered with the sounds of gunfire; of angry rhetoric, protest marches, and the frightening reality of hate and racism becoming the norm in a world that seems to have lost all humanity and love.
“Love your neighbour as yourself.” Not just the person next door or down the street, but the downtrodden, the afflicted, the lost, the weary, the frightened and the oppressed.
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