This is the last weekend of summer, as far as the calendar goes. In some locales, that doesn’t really mean much. But in Winnipeg, we always know that winter is coming, even if a long summer has lulled us into forgetfulness.
I don’t love winter, but I do appreciate the effects of seasons on our lives in this oft-frozen town. That a city can span 40 degrees below and 40 degrees above over the course of a year beggars the imagination. If I hadn’t lived through it so many times, I would have trouble believing it. Hell, whenever I’m living through one extreme, I can hardly imagine that I’ll be experiencing the other end in six months or so.
Summer is winding down, although we’ll still have some lovely weather ahead. And then fall will make a brief appearance before quickly giving way to winter, seemingly never-ending, until its reign is broken at last. Enduring and dreading those months are what makes us who we are here. We grumble amoungst ourselves, but to outsiders we brag of our hardiness.
And then comes spring and early summer, greeted with mirth, and parties, and a general strategy of spending as little time indoors as possible, because we know that winter is coming again, however much we shove that fact to the background in our revelry.
Here I sit at the end of a long summer, not especially welcoming the onset of autumn, and then winter, but having enjoyed my evening sitting on a patio for a drink with my wife all the more because it’s not something I can always do. Not only does winter make me grateful for summer; without winter, I wouldn’t even know what summer means.
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