The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

09 February 2013


We’ve been Nemoed. Why they named the biggest winter storm in five years after the cutest animated fish you ever did see, I don’t understand, but so it is. Snow fell in tremendous amounts over night. I must admit I was scoffing the meteorologists who seem to be always predicting apocalyptic weather events. I laughed with friends that Toronto would probably call out the army again to help them dig out. It’s snow, people! We’re in Canada!  I changed my tune when I blithely thought I’d pop out to get some packing tape late in the morning, figuring the plows would have been out and the roads would be fine. I’ve lived in Ottawa. I know about winter driving. When I landed knee deep in the snow drift that once was the sidewalk, I realized my weatherman-directed derision was very misplaced. We were, in fact, experiencing a bona fide winter weather event.

 And just like that I felt like a kid again. I became giddy and wanted to share the experience with other people. What is it about deep snow that cries out for frolicking? I walked as far as I could in an upright position, wiping snowflakes out of my eyes, grinning like a mad thing at the man who owns the hair salon across the street, pretending he could win the battle for a clear sidewalk against the falling snow. His neighbour the chiropractor brought over another shovel and the two of them went at it. Up and down the street I saw people stop to chat, acknowledging the magnitude of what was happening around us. There at the crosswalk a young man helped a younger boy over the snow bank.

 I think these people all felt a kinship of survival. Maybe that element of shared experience broke through the walls of protective isolation so many people build up, particularly in cities. An occurrence out of the ordinary opened their eyes to the world around them. Many were inspired to reach out, to connect, to offer assistance. And while all that was going on, the world was beautiful, and sparkly, and still.

 You know the moral of this story, don’t you? We may be dealt a Nemo now and then but if we dig deep something wonderful can come of it.


  1. Good story, good moral, and I'm glad you've still had electricity!

  2. My own preparation a few weeks ago for a storm was just a drill for this week. We got about a foot and a half to a foot of snow and others around me got two feet plus.

    Now, I know it is a lot of snow but two hours after the storm stopped the roads were clear. Those of us that live in these parts are used to this and are always prepared with plows, sand and salt and what ever is needed.

    Yes, I understand that power outages are a big problem, but I cannot count on on hand how many "storms of the century" we were supposed to have until this one. You can only cry wolf so many times.

    In the north east usa, we drive in snow, we play in snow, we go to work in snow. Its what we do. You use common sense if you do have to drive, but with reason, you prepare ahead of time so you don't have to go out if you don't have to.

    *sighhhhhh..... I just get tired of the media sensationalizing every potential snow storm as if it has never happened, and when it does happen people are not prepared.

    As I said, we in these parts are used to this and are prepared for the most part, so we CAN have fun when deep snow comes without panicking. I too love deep deep snow and the quiet that comes with it, but I also know from experience that those in charge will have us cleaned up and on our way quickly again!!

    Sorry if I sound a bit miffed, but I cannot stand the news making today :)

  3. Thank you Nancy. Yes, we're still standing. Amazingly enough. Snow in Canada... shocking!

    OC, I'm with you on the hopped up hysteria of the news outlets. Does it have to be The Storm of the Century? Can't it just be what it is? Snow?
    I lived in the Maritimes for three years. I sure do remember what it takes to endure the winters there. Glad you're doing ok out there, OC. Thanks for writing in.