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March smack down (on steroids!) #2!

March 20, 2015

_DSC1168Oh, how little I knew when I posted my last blog (“March smack down”), just what March still had in store for us. Not three days later we were hit with an even bigger storm that brought the city to a standstill. And not just a little “we need a couple of hours” standstill, no, a “we need a couple of days just to get the main streets cleared” kind of standstill.

No transit, no supermarkets, no sidewalks kind of standstill. Only today, is the city beginning to crawl back to life.

_DSC1192What you learn very quickly in such times is that people’s essential natures come out in such days.

Some of our homeless youth who helped our shelter neighbours find their front steps. The people who helped emergency vehicles get unstuck. The sharing of food, and shovels, and blankets.

And the people who quickly succumbed to their “snow rage”, punching city plow drivers for not being soon enough, or piling the snow too high – punching their neighbours over the last possible space for piling snow.

_DSC1204How quickly people feared the isolation and gathered in any open cafe – packing them to the rafters – and immediately creating tales and myths of the great storm of 2015!

How quickly people became distempered over long cherished routines that now how to be altered. (“What do you mean there is no yoga class today!?”)

The people who freaked out because they had no coffee and the supermarkets (and 99% of the other cafes) were closed.

Yet, it was sublime to go out into the world right after the storm – to see and hear the great silence that had fallen upon the city. To see 6 and 8 foot drifts stretching across streets – catching glimpses of buried cars, imagining where a front window used to be.

Watching smiling cross-country skiers pass on the street.

There is more snow coming tomorrow – and then rain. We know now that the flooding will be real and awful and that this 2015 winter will go down in Maritime history (while we have 300cm of snow now, PEI has over 500 cm of snow); that we will tell our grandchildren one day when there is no more snow what great mountains of snow there was – and they will look at us wide-eyed, and imagine what it must have been like to have been here…

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