Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Canadian Christmas: epilogue

.All good things must come to an end and like all those other good things, peanuts roasted in their shells for example, our time in Canada inevitably drew to a close. And suddenly I realised, looking through the viewfinder of my camera, that it would be some long while before Andrea stood in this spot again. I don't know if the ground will be covered in snow or grass and I don't know if she will be making the trip here on her own or whether I'll be able to go with her. But it made me quite sad to have to live in that moment of departing from a place where I really enjoyed being and where I was connected to so many great people. I felt that I had not wasted my time and yet two weeks was not long enough for me to get to know the people living in this other world on the other side of the globe - Andrea's world.

There is no substitute for time spent in the same place as the people you love. I remember hearing in a podcast about a contemporary immigrant family living in America who had set up video conferencing in their kitchen, including a projector that displayed the incoming streaming video onto a large screen on the wall, and every morning the family would sit down and have breakfast with a grandmother who lived in Italy, combining the two dining tables across the world with only a magical transparent wall separating them. I guess that's about as far as you could go with contemporary technology. By the way, I'm not suggesting that we need to have breakfast with Andrea's parents every morning.

There will be other christmases in the future. We'll probably all be sitting at the same table again and it will be laid with cracker bonbons and there will be a lot of what people do at christmas time; laughing and talking and discovering new things about the people they already know so well. People enjoying being with other people. Friends and relatives getting together to share old times and create new ones.

My memories of this christmas seem quite vivid. How could they not be? This was a christmas unlike any other that I have had. The color of the memories in my mind are very different from the usual colors of my christmases. It was all so cold and so warm at the same time; so happy and so sad. I'm already looking forward to my next Canadian christmas.

Daybreak over Sturgeon Lake. The frozen surface of the lake is textured by the blanket of snow that has fallen on top of the ice. The clouds swim in a puddle of oranges, pinks, blues, and whites behind the filigree of branches. This is Canadian winter.

No comments: