As March wanes on, we Manitobans have begun to feel like the half dead survivors of a Polar apocalypse. The cold has seeped into our bones and sapped our energy. Endless snow shoveling, frozen car batteries and cabin fever are just a few symptoms of this never ending winter.
Sure, the sun shines occasionally and every now and then the wind cuts out. But the snow is still here, piled high in drifts where chunks of ice hide. Covered with a skiff of snow, they wait to catch us unaware, leaving us feeling bruised and sheepish.
Like a horde of marauding zombies, the cold bites into us, scouring our flesh and souls in equal measure. We fall, one by one, into a stunned acceptance, trudging off to work and school with faces so dull, we look like we’ve joined Team Walking Dead.
The worst of it is that, at the back of our minds, we’re all secretly worried that this is it. The future has arrived. Climate change was supposed to be our grandchildren’s problem. What happened to that idea? There’s a certain indignation at the bumping up of the schedule. Like the dire warnings that said ‘Only thirty years from now!’ Yet here we are.
They’re doing well in Vancouver and LA, trim and fit from time spent in the great outdoors. All that walking, bicycling and roller blading. The wearing of light sweaters and attractive fall jackets. Here in the frozen north, we dress like we live on the moon. Down coats, layers of long underwear, and bulky hats that make us look like astronauts in the aftermath of a bad landing. I’m sure all those living on the coast smile broadly, even while making their four thousand dollars a month mortgage payments. “It’s worth it!” they declare, having watched the news and seen the suffering of their northern brethren.
But take comfort, dear Manitobans. When the oceans rise and Vancouverites swim frantically for Alberta’s new shore line, we’ll wait for spring and rejoice at being high and dry. In spite of our distress at winter’s duration, (which has started to feel like an unending marathon,) we’re a grateful bunch who count our blessings. We’re survivors and we pride ourselves on our stoicism. We’ll outlast this winter and emerge with our hearts and souls unscathed. Our frost bitten toes are another matter.