In Vancouver, the winter runs November through January. In these three months we receive half of our annual rainfall, with temperatures steady in the single digits. Days — if you can call them that — run about eight and a half gloomy hours, usually the same hours the average worker passes under fluorescent lighting. If Vancouver in summer is exuberant, bright, and paradisaical, then the grim weeks from Remembrance Day through January are the subdued, grey price we pay for it. I call it the Tunnel of Darkness. I hibernate through the voyage, dreaming of cherry blossoms and distracting my waking moments with wet commutes, work, and books.
As January comes to a close, with daily high temperatures reaching beyond ten and light lingering on the afternoon horizon, the schadenfreude of realizing how miserably cold true Canadian winters east of the Rockies are reminds us: it’s nearly over.
The graceful ascent toward spring has begun.