A short post about today's wintry weather in which I pay a small tribute to Eric Jenkins and try out a new word
"I could use a little more green," John said as we pedalled across the 142 St bridge over the MacKinnon Ravine yesterday afternoon.
The comment was different parts description and defiance. Mostly description: it's still pretty brown and leafless out there. The trees and lawns haven't yet gone all in in the spring photosynthesis sweepstakes. Some defiance: The weather forecast was for snow by morning.
The trees and the meteorologists got it white. The brown ground and bare trees have a set of fresh linens today.
The reactions are varied. Some people deliver the neutral facts and emojis.
Others share the surprise that change brings:
Some bemoan and go all first-person singular about it.
Others detect a mythology in which Edmontonians are eternally punished for their puny, chorophyll longings .
Some offer a tentative, questioning resistance to the negativity.
And others are Eric.
Eric is out there.
Eric is out there on his bike in a kind of precious urban chemical reaction: cycling outside plus watery snow plus the Sexsmith catalyst produces the icing sugar sweetness of "still rideable throughout." It makes for the figurative oxygen that bicycle commuters breathe.
All of which is a clunky way of saying that affection for the city we live in is not determined by the disinterested weather. We're not on a farm that can't be worked in the snow and wet. Here, it's not a question of the calendar. We can photoscityhesize in all weathers. That's what the brown and grey infrastructure is about.
(Also, I failed chemistry.)