Did you know that Canada is the most beautiful country in the world? It really is. When I was a teenager, my dad used to watch X-Files and I used to turn up my nose haughtily – he always spoiled the ending. It was filmed in B.C. If you don’t believe me that Canada is the most beautiful country – watch X-Files. It’ll turn you into a believer. They film the Pacific Ocean through the eyes of the Beautiful British Columbian coast. Then there’s the Rocky Mountains, the Foot hills, Vancouver’s China Town, the forests – everything. Except that it isn’t just X-Files. Half the movies I watch have a big thank-you to the government of
The thing is - Canada is cold. From November to April Canada is pretty much uninhabitable. American relatives come up here and they freeze their little bums because frankly – you’ve never felt anything like this before. Unless you are from Alaska and even then – the prairies are a different matter than the coast. The wind swoops down off the mountains. It could take the skin off your bones. Personally, I’ve lived here all my life and there is no sensation I can recall with more vividness then when that biting west wind scrapes and blows snowflakes across my cheeks in the darkness – I open my eyes and everything looks like snowflake obsidian – I feel completely alive. That first breath in is like love – like death – like that indescribable moment when you first meet yourself.
Somehow, when the temperature drops, things become clearer. You’re driving down a narrow highway leading to nowhere and the last sign you saw said, “Wilderness crossing next 97 kilometers’. But the sky is lit up like Iris’ cloak because the northern lights are so bright. The Milky Way looks eternal and the ice floating in the North Saskatchewan River looks like enormous moonstones floating downstream.
However, I can understand those American kids in my own backwards way. I go down to visit the mid-western States in summer and I feel like I’m going to lose my frickin’ mind it’s so hot. I’m standing there and I notice I’m sweating. I never sweat. It gets hot here in summer, but I don’t have A/C in my house (nor do I need it). I even remember the first time I had sweat on my back. It was 18 and I was carrying a backpack. I was so repulsed; I had to go take a shower.
I feel this way because I'm accustomed to cold weather. Winter is coming here and the snow is already on the ground. I should feel saddened that summer is over and dark days are ahead. Instead, I feel a part of myself come alive again. Like I said – it’s like love. It’s Canada.