Ignore this photo.
This morning there is snow.
Outside all is white and quiet and, quite suddenly, the premature Christmas decorations adorning the streets don't look quite so out of place. (Although, the Christmas carols playing in Walmart are still not excused.) Here, in central Canada, we have been suspended in a kind of horrified anticipation for the arrival of the cold weather. Where Australians delight in alarming newcomers with tales of the Most Venomous Snakes in the World, or casual near death encounters with Deadly Spiders in the Backyard, Canadians are all about the weather: Temperatures that Freeze Cows in Their Tracks, the Highest Snowfalls in Living History, the Scourge of Black Ice. As such, the first thing we heard about when rumour spread that we were moving to Manitoba was (cue ominous music) The Manitoba Winter. Eeek!
Ignore this photo also.
It all seems to hinge on the temperature. Not only are we to look forward to minus 40 degrees (during the day) but with this comes a complete set of Winter Worry Stories. For instance, your glasses frames snap at a certain temperature; the tips of your nose, ears and fingers risk turning white (then black, then dead, then dropping off) if you don't protect them properly; your car requires its own personal heater just so that you can start it in the morning; schools close at minus 50 - I could go on. Unsurprisingly, we have peered tentatively out the window each morning since temperatures began to dip looking for the first warning signs that we are headed in the direction of Temperatures that Freeze Cows in Their Tracks (perhaps a squirrel frozen mid-tree?). So far, so good - the only thing frozen is the water falling from the sky.
Which brings us back to today's post - a study in contrasts. As I look out the window today, the ground and the sky are one colour - the softest, lightest, brightest, whitest grey. It is beautiful and for the briefest moment you wonder why you ever liked it any other way. Until, with the benefit of photo hindsight, you remember the first real day of Spring when you lay out in the sun on a picnic blanket with your One True Love (OTL) and felt the sun soak into your very bones.
That is when these photos were taken - Sprang* 2008.
It seems that while humans still reproduce, we will all still have an opportunity to See Emma Sew. In the absence of any other inspiration (or courage, possibly) I will always make something for the arrival of a brand new one. Earlier this year, one of OTL's oldest friends had her second child, a baby boy. What better response than to immediately whip up a dachsund from a thrifted, felted woollen sweater, I ask you?
And then, not so as not to feel left out, I thought I'd whip up a little cashmere bunny for his older sister. It's not easy being usurped as the favourite and only child, so a little consolation prize was in order, I thought.
It will be a while before we are back to lush greens, warm sunlight and stolen mid-week afternoons on the grass. Winter will swirl around us, resplendent in shades of white, teaching the Australians that it's not all warmth, sunlight and saturated colour that brings beauty.
Indeed, I imagine frozen livestock will have its very own charm.
*Sprang: the past tense of Spring, the season.