Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ice / Montreal

First thing I do when I get up is open the bedroom curtains to look out at the day. Since I'm very myopic, I don't make out more than white or green on the ground, and the colour of the sky--and in winter, even that's too pale for me to distinguish between morning grey and morning blue.

I pull on my at-home clothes and go to my study where, with my glasses on, I get a clearer view onto the world (the Pointe) before heading downstairs to make tea. 

I lived through the ice storm of '98 that semi-paralyzed southern Quebec and eastern Ontario.
I recall how the ice in the trees crashed down branches, taking power lines with them.

This morning I stepped into the backyard--just able to take ten very careful steps--and heard how the branches of the maple in our backyard and the great cottonwood in the alley creaked and rustled like weighted glass. Not happy. Me, as well as the trees I imagine.

I wasn't sure what to call this post. I was thinking of those thematic categories we learned in high school: man vs society, man vs nature, man vs himself. We are living in times when the havoc we, as humans, have caused in the environment has made a new category. Nature vs City. Weather is no longer an anodyne presence outside our homes. Last night it grew ice teeth. This past summer it howled and crashed trees onto houses. We get snow up to our knees and how much does it cost to cart it away in a city with how many kilometres of road? Montreal isn't even a tropical or coastal city and we've started getting such heavy rainstorms that there's flooding. Yet we continue to live as live and wonder why it keeps getting worse. 

That's me not even managing to walk as far as the back gate this morning.

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