Mon pays, c'est l'hiver / Montreal Creative Diary

Growing up in Montreal as children, we'd rush to the window to look at the sky so we could guess the weather. How many minuses this morning? If it was bright blue up there, we knew it'd be the coldest.

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We'd put on our sweaters, jackets, and neck warmers, then our boots and our tuques, and finally our mittens, after we'd tied and zipped everything up.

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On the sidewalks, we preemptively looked downward as we walked, to deflect the cold away from the exposed parts of our faces. We felt the ground under every step, listened to the crisp crackling of hardened snow, watched out for black ice.

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There's a well-known song that proclaims mon pays, c'est l'hiver. In Québec, we waltz around our thoughts about what the cold months mean to us. As much as we like to complain about the weather, we embrace it. We know.

Montrealers go tobogganing down the Mont Royal on inflatable devices or daredevil-y cheap sheets of plastic we affectionately call crazy carpets (we've made it sound French, somehow). We defiantly/festively dance our troubles away at IglooFest, and gather to look at fireworks to ring in the new year.

We've all said we hate the winter, but deep down we know we're part of it as much as it's part of us.

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