“It’s raining cats and dogs.”
This popular idiom is often used to refer to a rainy weather, where the raindrops pouring from up above provide the city’s pedestrians with a unique shower experience.
However, seeing as how Mother Nature is presently gifting Montreal with approximately 45 centimetres of snow, I believe one would now describe the city’s weather as “It’s snowing cats and dogs.”
Yesterday night, I was mentally and physically prepared to face the snowstorm that would hit our city the next day. Everyone had warned me: “Bundle up,” “Dress well,” “Just stay home,” “Don’t drive around,” and all the other warnings that implied the same message: Stay warm and just sleep in. Nevertheless, as I woke up today morning, I couldn’t help but gasp as I looked out my bedroom window.
I couldn’t even see the colourful tops of cars that were parked on the streets, the tree branches weren’t visible and the sidewalks were incognito. I stared some more out my window, and a revelation dawned upon me.
Yes, this snowstorm is harsh. Yet, its harshness is overshadowed by the majesty and innocence it portrays through its pure white composition. The snow blankets the entire city smoothly with its crystal white granules, covering every nook and corner of every alley and road. Though its grace is undeniable, it succeeds by suppressing the population from going about their daily lives. This snow was beautiful, yet sly. A dangerous combination.
Though the snow’s immeasurable beauty caught my attention in the beginning, I hate to admit that its elegance slowly withered away from my mind as I started to wonder how I would leave the house. I picked up my phone, ready to cancel the plans I had made for the day, but then I stalled. I suddenly realized that this is what the magic of winter is all about.
I started to reminisce about my childhood winters. Born in Montreal, most of those unforgettable, joyous memories include school cancellations due to severe snowstorms and creating snow angels in heaps of snow that reached my knees. Moreover, I can still vividly remember the severe ice storm of 1998 that affected multiple provinces of Canada, even bordering along some states of the U.S.A. Of course, how can I forget the bulky, multicoloured snowsuits I had to wear during the winter? Unfortunately, for the past one or two years, Montreal’s winters have not been as glamorous as they used to be: A couple of centimetres of snow here and there, followed by short periods of freezing rain and hail. Consequently, I noticed fewer snowmen being built in my neighbourhood, fewer snow angels being drawn out in the snow, and fewer school cancellations.
But today, our outlook of this year’s winter season has changed. It’s the winter that us Montrealers know of and are accustomed to. The fact that Montreal is deeply blanketed in snow is what clearly defines the city.
As I stepped outside to go about my day, I saw people helping others by pushing their cars that were stuck in the snow, a man helping a woman who had just slipped, and many more generous acts. This really touched my heart: To see that snow can unite Montreal’s population is definitely worthy of mention.
To be honest, I’m glad I get to experience what the real deal is when it comes to living in Montreal during the winter season.
I can only hope that our kids get to experience what we’ve seen, and understand how something simple as snow can trigger kindness amongst our population like a ripple effect.
Let it snow!