Last week I posted a blog about the difficulties of being a chair during the winter. How lucky I had been during my first winter in the chair I rely on so much to keep my life semi-normal (whatever that means)…but this winter has been more of what December through March should be. Wild, woolly, shivery and snowy. What a Canadian Winter should be.
Before all of this (as I refer to the last three years collectively), I remember absolutely loving winter. I never minded the cold. I loved harsh and blowing snowstorms that seemed to be the rage of nature reminding us mere mortals how little we really control or understand. I loved bundling up and trundling through snow up to my knees, looking out on fields of untouched snow that seemed to go on forever, never sure when I was going to step into the next massive and unseen deep snow drift. Now I grant, this was years ago…back when Toronto still had some empty spaces that hadn’t been filled with chock-a-block cookie cutter subdivisions and massive condo towers. This was when we still had some open farm space that didn’t take driving an hour out of the city to find.
I love winter. To me it was the most pure time of the year. You could see everything stripped back and bare. The trees no longer blocked views that leaves would obscure in the summer. The sunrise and sunsets are always so low to the horizon…providing some of the most spectacular view, whether in the city or out in the boonies (as my sister-in-law would call Markham). I loved getting out on snowmobiles, even snowshoes, cross-country skiing (both of which I was terrible at…remind me one day to tell the story of my attempt to wax up a pair of cross-country skis and the hilarious result), hell I even did a bit of downhill skiing which once ended with me face first in a fence before the ski lift, and with Arthur almost driving a van full of us of an icy cliff. Those memories of winter are perhaps more vivid in my mind (and thus perhaps more modified with time) than my memories of any other season.
It truly is amazing, just how a change in health can change a view of a season.
Once it was a time to escape and explore whole new worlds…hell I even mountain biked through ice-covered trails in Durham Forest…how I didn’t end up broken in some backwoods trail I’ll never know.
Now…it’s a different thing. Now it is a season of excuses. Of reasons. Of logic. Of being safe.
In the back of my mind I need to remind myself…My spine is a mess that MRI’s can barely decipher. I have a shunt that impacts are not good for. Oh and an ankle held together by plates and screws. When I look out my window in the morning, or see a weather alert on TV…I know longer get that flash of excitement at the prospect of taking the dog for bounding walk through impossible snow and getting in soaked to the bone, waiting for a hot chocolate to warm me up.
Now…it’s a question of risk assessment. Is the snow too deep for the wheelchair. Has it melted and gone icy to be impossible to take the short walk from house to car with my walker? Is it worth the risk of fall? Can I work from home, despite going stir crazy at times? So many excuses for not tackling the season…for staying safe…for being a minor hermit who huddles down for the winter, awaiting the muck and mud of the coming spring. Several times this winter, I have had calls telling me to stay home, to not risk it. Several times we’ve started out on trips out, only to turn around…partly because the roads were bad…partly because we weren’t sure I could make it from the car to whatever our destination was.
Now note, I say none of this in a search for sympathy…more just to get the frustration of it out in the world.
Bear with me on a bit of stray along the garden path (it’s buried out back right now). I just got my new Blackberry Z10 on the weekend, after Arthur’s attempt to surprise me with it that was spoiled by my own attempts at Sherlockian deduction. I’ve been playing with it a lot in the last few days…and even hope to start posting some blogs while on the road from it. During my exploration of it I discovered the interesting BlackBerry Keep Moving projects…and the ones by Author Neil Gaiman caught my eye. Now don’t get me wrong…I realize fully it just a well done marketing plan for the Z10…and I’m fine with that…when they are using artists who don’t mind using marketing to get a message across. He made a point in one posting…about all of us having a point of view that is all our own…and no one else that can have that point of view. If we don’t create something from that point of view, we deprive the world of it.
Right now…this is my life. This season of winter, as I adjust to it, as I learn to live from a different point of view (with the amazing support I have of Shannon and my friends and family), it is something worth sharing in my own clumsy way. Winter was once a season of adventure to me. For now it is more a season of hibernation…of stir crazy…or entrapment. I hope to change that as time goes on. I hope to share some of that transformation (hey maybe I can use that marketing for the Z10 to inspire some new uses for it). So who knows what this season will produce…from random thoughts, to random scenes to even more random imagination.
Being entrapped can force your mind to explore new places of it…else you fear losing yourself to the dark corners of it…where the temptation to become a hermit gets to be just a bit TOO tempting. Hearing that wind howling out there tonight, after the flash freeze today does tempt me to not wander far tomorrow. Yet I will.
We’ll see what adventures winter brings a geek on wheels. I may not be quite ready for sledge hockey or downhill skiing for the disabled…but who knows…40 is just a number right?
That being said…for the first time in my life…I can’t wait for fracking spring!!!