By Sue Tiffin
It’s been a long, hard winter but not for the usual weather-related reasons. For some days leading up to Christmas, I wondered if it would be a touch on the green side much to the disappointment of the festive little elves in my house.
And then it happened. Much to the delight of the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association and winter enthusiasts at Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride and students across Ontario hoping for a snow day, the flakes began to fall.
Monday’s snow – beautiful despite the blizzard and winter storm warnings blaring in our direction – saw upwards of 30 to 55 centimetres of snow fall in much of southern Ontario, except in Windsor which appeared dreadfully dry-looking though significantly easier on the back.
The snowfall was needed – maybe not that much of it, especially to those stuck in traffic jams on the 401, trying to get to work through the thick of it, or anticipating the first day back to in-person school since, well, last year really.
But for many, having not seen so much snow in quite some time, it reminded us of joy. Kids across the county got outside – you can see some of their photos throughout this edition of your newspaper, enjoying the snow before they begin to associate it with shovelling and warming up cars, cancellations and wet socks. Dogs were buried up to their bodies, having to jump through the quickly accumulating snow piles to get anywhere – little Bean Hirstwood, a small pooch adopted from Texas, experienced his first true snowfall in a backyard in Minden.
And then the good news began. In the cities, where heaps of snow are still more of a novelty, people skied to work. Security guards cleared off windshields of hospital workers so that when they came out from working long shifts, their cars were ready to take them home. An eight-year-old boy saved an elderly man who had become buried in snow in Ottawa, noticing he needed help and taking care of him with the compassion we hope we all still have. Neighbours began doing good deeds for each other, no matter where they lived or what their relationships had been like just the day before.
Jan. 17 is often referred to as Blue Monday, and we have some hard times to get through still, but we’ve still got it in us to experience joy and help each other through.
It was the worst snowfall our province has seen for some time, but the worst can still bring out the best in us.
And at the end of the day the most beautiful of sunsets filled the sky, the colours pink and red washing over the land to remind us that tomorrow would be a day with clear skies.