I recently weekended at a “holiday house” in Goolwa and was asked by an Australian to, “Sell me Canada,” after we’d gone back and forth about nice and not-so-nice things about Canadian cities I’d lived in and visited. Finally he challenged, “Well, what’s your favourite smell of home?” and while I couldn’t answer that without some thought, I could instantly recall my favourite Canadian sound…..
Yes, Snow. You may not think snow has a sound. There ARE certain necessary conditions to acheive the beautiful sounds of a winter’s eve.
Dry enough to scatter with the scuffle of a boot, to squeak under each footfall. Wet enough to gather on every branch, mailbox, and Christmas light.
Snow plows are busy on the highways. They won’t disturb us for days. The roads have only the barely visible tire tracks of the few unfortunate souls trekking to work on the perfect winter today.
Dark now. Late. Tummies are full of a hot meal – it’s time to layer up. Warmest boots, sweaters, vests, scarves, mittens, a hat.
Crisp air meets breath and crystallizes magic puffs.
Look up! No black winter night, not a star in sight – rather a rich purple light reflected from a flawless world blanketed in white.
Roadways gone, cars put to sleep under a deep layer, houses nearly swallowed up. Nothing exists but the icy air creeping in at the tips of ears, noses, toes. Crunch underfoot, and not another sound.
A fragrant curl of smoke draws you back inside to hear the roll of kettle boiling, the pop of firewood crackling, and Silent Night reminding – hold on to this moment. Wrap your chilled hands around After Eight hot chocolate; savour mom’s special Christmas baking; squeeze onto the couch with your family; prop your icy toes at the fire; melt away.
Canadian winter. Nothing can touch it. Nothing.
feature image courtesy of: This Is How My BrainWorks