I know in some places, the beginning of March is warm and holds all the promises of glorious spring, but here in Montreal it is still white and frigid and though the sun shines, it seems content to delay the the burst of life that comes with a warmer season. I think mostly, we’re okay with that here. The city seems alive regardless of weather, most days, and winter is to be celebrated as much as any other time of year. Yes, I’m wearing layers. Yes, the heat is on in my house, and yes, it is still cold in here. But we are so lucky to have four distinct seasons! The fun that comes with winter is all the more fun because we know that it will soon be gone (okay, I don’t want to get carried away here – often nearing the end of March many of us are crying out to the heavens for the temperature to warm up already)!
In celebration of winter, I’ve created a couple patterns (one by request from a friend, freshly transplanted here from France and totally in awe of our winter).
Behold, the decidedly Canadian winter pastime, skating.
I grew up on the west coast (near Vancouver), and I can remember maybe two times that it was ever cold enough to skate outdoors, say, on a pond. But here! Well, every winter one can expect to be skating outside at one point or another. Skating indoors seems almost a bit ludicrous, unless you are taking a lesson of sorts, I suppose. Many times we’ve ventured up to Beaver lake, atop Mount Royal – the mountain in the middle of our city – and skated with friends, popping into the warm chalet when our noses and toes needed thawing. Some moments are like magic out there. Alas, this winter has been weirdly warm with El Niño – much warmer than my other winters here, though still cold by west coast standards. Life has busied us and we’ve not skated as much and I find I miss it.
Another thing we do in the cold, is find creative busywork to do indoors – though I did see a few trees had been yarn bombed near the Verdun Metro Station a few weeks back. Somebody had to stand out in the cold and stitch those puppies on. Even trees need sweaters in Montreal.
I don’t yet knit, but I do crochet. This pattern, maybe, is part of my own internal pep talk to figure out how to knit. My Grandmother is a master knitter, and has tried to show me how once or twice, bless her, but I just can’t get the knack of it. But I love the thought of it – and the thought of her passing this skill along.
What are some of your favorite winter pastimes? Do you live in an area where weather dictates the activities you tend to do? I wonder about places where it never really freezes. What’s that like? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.