A not uncommon ejaculation is the enthusiasm devoted to the changing seasons – spring, summer, winter and fall. Naturally it is a gusto which notably survives among “snowbirds“. For the past many years we have spent 6 months alternately above and below the 49° parallel; specifically, Ontario in the summer and Florida in the winter. This means we have had to endure contaminated versions of both autumn and spring because it is during those seasons we customarily travel to and from our destination. The change of seasons occurs obviously at different times depending upon one’s latitude. Even tolerating the shifting nature of seasons at autumn and spring, there is a technical glitch with the winter scene because the vegetation is radically different from our own in Canada. This adds to the singularity of the winter experience which is primarily consigned to palm trees and other exotic sub-tropical plants.
This morning during our constitutional bike ride we initiated our introduction to winter in Canada. Though we haven’t by any measure exhausted all that autumn offers, there was in the air today a light, semi-frozen rain. It reminded me a driving sleet though not as severe. Whatever it was, it was definitely along the wintry theme, spiriting pictures of slush and mess.
In fairness to what may seem an implied deprivation to winter in Canada, I wish to note that even in Florida during the winter much of the vegetation there hibernates (or whatever plants do to take a break), resulting in a semi-brown tinge for a brief period. The spring recovery usually begins the last week of February and rapidly bursts into the flames of colour which are so well known.
There has been little deliberation about what to do this year. Considering the spread of COVID-19 globally there are obstacles: the pandemic itself, health insurance, border restrictions and general government notifications. Even if one were to travel with insurance, there is no guarantee that if one becomes ill there will be place in a hospital. I know from personal experience that flying a patient back to Canada is neither quick nor easy, whether public or private charter. I also know that if your health insurance coverage limit for COVID-19 is only $100,000 that may well not be enough. Surrounded by so many unappealing features of travel abroad we are content to tuck in for the winter here.