It all started with a snowflake that wouldn’t melt.
I’d spent the past hour finishing my Christmas shopping at Toronto’s Eaton Centre, wishing I could hide in an aisle of Indigo Books to strip off the leggings that, so comfortable outside, were now causing me to overheat amidst the bustling Christmas crowds.
There’d been smiles at the giant glittering reindeer keeping watch over shoppers half their size, and apologetic shrugs to salesgirls who had to put away the dresses that I truly wanted to buy, but which simply didn’t fit.
But, really, it all started with a snowflake that wouldn’t melt.
As I stepped out from the mall into the just-below-freezing Toronto afternoon, the freshness of the air whooshed over my flustered soul and, with a little skip, I started to make my way back to Lisa’s to continue packing for the move to my temporary sublet.
It started snowing.
Suddenly, I was twirling on the side of the street, face lifted to the white. I giggled because, in all my layers, I wasn’t cold at all, but simply perfect. A car honked at me but I barely noticed, for there, on my red borrowed mitten, was a snowflake of the kind I’d only ever seen in pictures. A six-pronged star.
It wouldn’t melt. Ten minutes after first noticing the snowflake, I stopped and pulled out my camera. As I heard the click, I remembered dancing in a fire pit with Heathy on another snowy day, and I thought:
Maybe winter in Canada really will be okay. Maybe it will be marvellous.
The next day, I moved to my December sublet and watched the sun set in a blaze of lilac from my balcony. With the heating preset to high before my arrival, morning saw me put my iTunes on shuffle, change into shorts and a tank top, and start dancing like a wild thing to the theme song from Treme (and a whole host of other more embarrassing tunes).
After throwing on a jacket and boots I walked to my new local grocery store, locking eyes with a black squirrel on the way.
I think he liked me.
I think he really liked me.
In fact, he seemed to like me so much that he started moving closer.
I returned from Sobeys with what I like to call a Lunch Of Champions, though it was slightly disconcerting to find what appeared to be a face (Doug’s, perhaps?) in my vegan So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.
Before slipping into bed that night, I stood at my window and watched the Toronto Christmas Market’s Ferris Wheel, bedecked in lights, glimmer at me from several streets away.
And, to think, it all started with a snowflake that wouldn’t melt.