Embracing prairie winters

As children we rejoiced at those high drifts, the crunch, crunch of snow beneath our feet. Remember?

Photo courtesy of The Forks The Forks have become the focus of winter activity in Winnipeg.
Photo courtesy of The Forks
The Forks have become the focus of winter activity in Winnipeg.

Myrna Driedger, MLA Winnipeg Manitoba Progressive Conservative (PC) caucus
Myrna Driedger
Broadway Journal

Recently I read an article referencing Winnipeg as being the Winter Capital of Canada. One can read that headline and say, “That is great!” Or grumble and say, “That is awful!” I choose to focus on what is positive about winter.

The article suggested we should embrace winter and I agree. We live here. We know it is going to get cold and we know it will change with the coming of spring. We should embrace the changing of the seasons. I believe it is what keeps us from getting too complacent or bored. Perhaps it is what helps prairie people to develop the survival instincts for life. We survived another winter and we have so much to look forward to in spring

A winter wonderland
Why not focus on the positive things about living on the prairies in winter? Perhaps we should recall the feeling we had as children when the snow came. Those big snowflakes were beautiful and glistening like diamonds! Walking along, we listened to the crunch crunch of the snow under our feet. We rejoiced at how high the drifts were…better for tobogganing and seeing who could be the “King of the Castle”! We were excited to get together with our friends, a pair of skates hanging over our shoulder to go skating, or, carrying our hockey bags, to go play a bit of hockey at the outdoor rink.

The new season, and the pleasures we shared with our friends, lifted our spirits. We made winter fun. Exercising in the fresh crisp air was exhilarating and good for boosting our moods. When we’d had enough we headed home, and what a treat it was to sip on a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Paul Jordan, chief operating officer at The Forks, has a great appreciation of winter and has maintained the sense of wonder, excitement and “Winter! bring it on” attitude we residents should all embrace. His idea to create a river skate trail and to make it longer that Ottawa’s famous Rideau Canal was brilliant.

Team effort applauded
The team effort that went into developing and maintaining the Winnipeg trail gained well-deserved recognition when it attained world record length. More importantly, the trail provides a great opportunity to connect with family and friends in a good old-fashioned skate.

Winnipeg experiences the biggest spread between summer and winter temperatures of all major cities in North America and western Europe. Let’s embrace that little footnote to our story, too. Spring is around the corner and will bring its own kind of energy and fun. There is magic in the change of season, and it will once again bring on the spirit with which Manitobans adapt to change and savour the world at their doorstep.

Myrna Driedger is MLA for Charleswood and deputy leader of the provincial Conservative party.

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