Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's really winter here!

Skating on the Rideau Canal
Sure the weather has shut us down today, but we just heard all kids favourite winter words "Snow Day!".  It's a perfect day to read Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats to someone you love.  I love shovelling the snow when there is no rush to get anywhere and I can do it at my leisure. ...And what better excuse for staying in and curling up with a book, than a weather warning that urges you to stay off the roads.

Ottawa may have the distinction of being the coldest capital city in the world, but it certainly is pretty in the winter. And when you know how to take advantage of what the season has to offer, you can enjoy all kinds of weather. There is nothing quite like a blazingly bright sunny day in winter, with the sun creating diamonds off the icy snowflakes.  Skating on the Rideau has gone on for more that a hundred of years, and there is a sense of history and a tie with the past, in the opportunity to skate where early citizens also enjoyed winter.  I am reading "Roughing It in the Bush" the classic tale of pioneers by Suzanna Moodie, published in 1852. Her early roots in  the cultivated meadows of England and the unexpectedness of her growing love for Canada shines through in her description of her pioneer settlement of Canada. She describes the countryside and the wildness of nature with such awe, and states how she came to love this country. She is describing terrain so familiar to me; the entryin to Quebec City from the St. Lawrence; sailing down the St. Lawrence to Montreal; and then making her way to the Peterborough region.  It feels like I'm reading someone's letters, there is such a sense of connection. I urge you to read it (preferably on an e-reader, where you can make the print any size you wish.)

A garden on the Rideau River. Gardens in winter can be stunningly beautiful. Imagine if this was your view...