Winter is lonely. It’s silver and aloof. Strangled in the absence of the sun’s boisterous glory, it knows not how to serve the citizens.
The buzz that perfused my ears even before I stepped foot into Canada was the threat of its ruthless winters. I come from the rampant, scorching heat blisters of India — a total stranger to any sign, nay, shred of a vitalising cold.
It’s frightening to imagine your life amid academic chaos, especially in a land that will envelop you in bewildering blizzards and catastrophes, gently decorated with snow like misleading confetti under gray skies. It was obviously, I realize, another exaggerated tale of horror, for I’ve grown to befriend the cold.
It’s not all comfortable, and previously narrated stories definitely ebbed my fear of succumbing to the cold. If the stories hold truth, I would be shivering alone while life around me resumed for all. Do my observations narrate a strange story too? Seeing the winter around?
Snow would often lie crumbled across the charcoal runaways as I commuted to class, and my boots would dodge diluted, leaking effervescence, muddled with the stains from four wheelers.
The voyage itself was so achingly aloof too. I’ve been used to my sneakers gracing the burning camel sand, with the occasional patches of grass, and the blistering roads on other days. Never have they felt the experience of these pathways being condensed into something more comfortable, something that does not swallow and digest the leather you don the moment it hits the ground.
Waking up recovering from my sickness in mid November, I was mesmerized. Aghast. From the slightly visible gap in my curtains, a piercing silver stroke tore my eyes open. And oh, how I simply stood there. Was it obliterating? I was numb.
Robert Bridges’ London Snow only taunted me with its romanticization of these delicate pearls. Toronto, oh Toronto. You showed me why we could romanticize the loneliness we fear in December. The foggy, disdainful nights that elapsed in my residence finally translated into a moment of sheer glory, one I could spend millennia adoring and admiring.
Winter still reminded me of the tremors and trouble it perfused. The snow was a temporary remedy, leading us astray from the misery of shivers, laziness, and a prominent loneliness. All my walks to campus saw men shivering outside neighbouring the bike lanes. Solitary, while the cappuccino in my hands comforted the flustered awakenings within. Such a terrible envy for me to have caused. Gazing with sheer resentment, they eyed the comforting cup in my hands, sighing as they were distant from it. They were yearning.
Winter was manipulative; it might still be. It forced me into glee one moment and simmered down to strangle me with a vague loneliness. While it still may beat and bruise me with blizzards, I’ve learnt of the secret pathway to remedy — it hides behind the snow. In the few moments in which I’m not futile, this winter might just see a tale of unheard love and warm embraces.