It feels like I have been pretty much walking in a winter wonderland since November. Right now we’re in a polar vortex, a term that seemed to pop out of nowhere (but apparently does exist). It makes it super scary to think about what is going on with our environment, especially thinking about catastrophic events like Typhoon Haiyan.
I spent the holidays with my family in the suburbs of Toronto, in the home I grew up. I took the train from Ottawa to Toronto, arriving a day after the huge ice storm hit.
The last few years have been pretty green Christmases, so it was exciting to finally have one that was storybook white and cozy (our house fortunately wasn’t affected by any power outages). Rooftops and trees were coated in blankets of snow. Icicles literally glistened from the tips of evergreen pine needles. My parents’ backyard felt like we were somewhere in a cabin up north instead of the burbs.
On the other hand, driving through neighbourhoods and streets, you could see what a huge negative impact the storm had on the trees. Tons of branches and limbs, weighed down by the ice and split from trees, were now debris down on the side of the road. In my parents’ backyard, half of our neighbour’s tree – one of the oldest on the block – split and fell over the fence and into our backyard. It makes for pretty photos, but the clean up doesn’t look likes it’s going to be something else.