Winter: So bright, so beautiful

The Turtlehead blog post yesterday entitled Frozen talked about winter, and how it’s possible to love it. The skating, the skiing, the walking and playing in the snow.

I am finding so much JOY in winter this year. As I write this I am looking out my window at sunshine glinting off a snowy landscape.

So bright. So beautiful. 

On New Year’s Eve when it was -22 degrees Celsius in Ottawa, Canada, we walked from house to house during our annual “travelling” dinner celebrations with neighbours. No breath of wind stirred the air. The almost-full moon cast crisp shadows on the snow. So bright. So beautiful.

In early January we skated on the ice rink put in place on Parliament Hill as part of Canada 150 celebrations. It was really, really, really cold that night and the wind howled. But we skated in the evening with the inspirational images and music of the Northern Lights sound and light show playing in the background. So bright. So beautiful.

We skied on Sunday at a local ski hill. The sun shone on our skis as they shooshed through perfect snow conditions. So bright. So beautiful.

The family on a less sunny ski day.

On Saturday we visited the outdoor skating rink at Rideau Hall, the home of the Governor General. (Affectionately known to many as the GG, she is the Queen’s representative in Canada.) We happened there on the same day as the Winter Celebration. We walked on the grounds, skated on the rink, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed winter. So bright. So beautiful.

We skated on the Rideau Canal on Thursday, and if anything encapsulates the winter experience, it is that. How lucky to have such a gift in my city. The National Capital Commission does an amazing job of maintaining the world’s largest skating rink, but this is nature we’re talking about. Some parts of the 7.8 km stretch (not quite 5 miles) was glassy smooth. So bright. So beautiful.

Some parts were smooth, but not glassy and with bumps under the surface.  So bright. Proceed with caution.

Other parts were pitted and rough. Navigate those patches by pointing the skate blades straight and coasting until it’s over. So bright. Not so beautiful.

Those rough patches mean the experience is not flawless, but the joy of skating for almost five miles without ever having to make a turn, the benefits of crisp cold air and sunshine, and the beauty of our Ottawa landscape makes the overall experience SO worth coasting through the rough patches.

That sums up winter for me. I don’t love everything about it, but the joy of skating, skiing, walking, the benefits of crisp cold air and sunshine, and the beauty of our Ottawa landscape makes the overall experience SO worth it.

Skating on Parliament Hill

Finding joy in winter is about wearing the right clothing and choosing the right attitude. You don’t wear a parka on a beach on a hot, humid summer day, so you shouldn’t wear jeans and thin jackets outside on a winter day either.

Dress appropriately and look for the bright and beautiful. Choose joy.

 

About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on January 30, 2018, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, nature. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Phyllis Bohonis

    Joie de vivre (French pronunciation: ​[ʒwa də vivʁ], joy of living) is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit. It “can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do…

    I am so proud to know someone whose name and personality translate perfectly into two languages. Please continue to cast your joie de vivre on all who know you. Have a great day my friend.

  2. Yes! This! I feel *joy* about winter – it’s such a strange and new experience. It took a long, long time to really appreciate the beauty, but now I’m there. I think we are lucky to live in Ottawa, where they really do so much to make being outside in cold, snowy weather fun.

  3. Arlene, your photos with family in goggles reminded me of times when the four of us would ski. Our two kids are grown up now and live in Florida with hardly a snowflake. Well, we do have photo memories like you. 🙂

  4. Your post: So BRIGHT. So BEAUTIFUL!

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