Snow fell this morning. Solid, heavy snow.
“What a wonderful world”, Louie Armstrong used to sing, in a song written during a winter wonderland, possibly around Christmas. Just when the thick powder graciously makes its entrance from the early hours of the night to the next morning, before people set out to work. And you almost feel the snow fall ends right when the morning starts, with chronometric precision.
It is at this time of the morning, when the switch goes off in the head of your neighbours and everyone comes out to shovel at unison.
Shoveling driveways with your neighbours is the equivalent of the barrio chat room. Never two canadians had much to talk about except when they are shoveling their driveways. You get to know the person next door more during this activity than at any barbeque or get together.
Resilience, endurance and wit are put to the test, and most comforting of all: resting the shovel on your shoulder on a clean driveway with the feeling of having conquered disturbances of the weather. Could there be any feeling more canadian than this?
Canadians: this is our war since the one from 1812, this is our disaster scenario, our deepest crisis. Heavy Snow falls are here to create special social dynamics and promote communication, solidarity. It is as if Nature or God wanted to grant people from first world countries with a reason for bonding and helping each other. We need to understand this to solidify better connections with people. And perhaps fight mental health. It could be message we all need to hear, in a poetic form, that just before Christmas, we receive a vehicle to make better relationships and give a hand – or a shovel – to our neighbours.
I hear you Louie. Wonderful it is.