It’s wet, dark and dreary.
The sound of our ocean is being drowned out by coughing and sneezing and it seems like a lot of the ‘Open’ lights in our towns burned out in unison to start the year.
There are no holiday presents left to unwrap. Our Christmas trees have come down and the leftover Tofurkey sandwiches have run out. The most proactively energetic among us have packed up their exterior Christmas lights while the remaining, sensible, procrastinators have long stopped turning them on.
It’s about as hot outside as Edmonton’s NHL team and whether we see the sun before the Oilers see their next win, both apparent phenomenons seem a lifetime away and neither us, nor them, could be blamed for feeling a bit like Judith Viorst’s Alexander as he resigns himself to a ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.’ In Edmonton’s case, you could make that day a year. In ours, you could make it a month.
The force of the offseason’s doldrums hits its peak in January. It’s an important peace to seize. Our busyness strides swiftly in the spring and you might not realize how little time you have left to befriend your neighbours and luxuriate in the like-minded. Out-of-towners will be in-towners soon enough.
February carries the romantic pressures of Valentine’s Day that we’ll juggle along with making our guests’ wildest couple’s-getaway dreams come true. By the time we’re done our ‘West Coast is for lovers’ celebrations, we’ll be smack in the middle of Pacific Rim Whale Festival preparations. The opening parade’s on March 10 this year. Blink and you’ll be sweating through the tourist season once again. I can’t see our highway’s nightly closures and daily delays slowing the Albertans heading to our shores because, for the life of me, I can’t picture those red licence plates traveling any more glacially than they already do when Highway 4’s free and clear.
Before they start trickling in, and eventually arrive in a downpour, I implore you to leave the house, step into the rain and revel in our remoteness. Waiting for the sun is a fool’s errand.
The beauty in the woods makes hearts sing regardless of whether tourists are there to see it. Paul Simon’s ‘Sound of Silence,’ is playing a gorgeous tune for those savvy enough to enjoy it.
This is Disneyland for nature lovers and there’s not a lineup in sight. I waltzed my kids through a gorgeously vacant Wild Pacific Trail on Saturday. It was glorious.
Get out there.
Our economic bustle is fun to partake in when the season steamrolls through, but carving frosty footsteps into your favourite summertime spots will earn you a wildly different perspective on the peaceful paradise around you.