A weekend well-spent preparing for winter

| life

My arms are sore, my shoulders are tense, my back is stiff, and I’m basking in the satisfaction of seeing our garden almost ready for the end of the growing season. We spent Thanksgiving weekend doing a final harvest, digging up the soil, turning over some turf, and preparing a 4′ x 12′ raised bed bordered with spruce planks. We had done some limbering up before doing so (rule #18 ;) ), but apparently, not enough. We cycled a lot this weekend, too: 41 kilometers over two days, which included lots of errands around the city. I’m still tired, but I’m happy.

Frost looms on the weather forecast. I’ve brought out my thermal wear, dusted off my winter shoes, and girded myself for another long, gray season.

At home in the Philippines, the -ber months are times to look forward to. The drier, cooler air and Christmas festivities are pleasant breaks from summer heat and typhoons. The parols blink in almost-synchronized harmony by the roadside, Christmas lanterns lighting up the night, tassels fluttering in the breeze. The streets explode with colour and the air fills with music. It may not be paradise, but it’s home.

But W- is here in Canada, so I am here. While I am here, I will make myself home. The garden has done its job in bringing me more in tune with the seasons. I have cheered seedlings on in spring, picked herbs in summer, snacked on garden-grown tomatoes in fall, and now it is time to let the snow blanket my garden and lull it to sleep. Our pantry’s stocked with home-made jams and jellies. In preparation for long, cold evenings, I’ve picked up indoor-friendly hobbies such as drawing and sewing.

It’s time to dust off the lanterns my mom mailed me when I was sun-starved and sad. Time to hang up the parol we brought back. Time to fill my life with colour to balance the desaturated days. And maybe winter will be a little bit better this year, now that I’m getting the hang of it. I have my fuzzy socks, merino wool thermals, waterproof gloves, and Polartec fleece jackets and scarves. I may even have fun–after all, the toboggan is waiting for the first adventure of the season.

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