It’s like he just drank three Red Bulls after someone gave him a shot of adrenaline. For some reason, Reilly went bonkers today at the sight of fresh snow. He kind of reminds me of both our sons before a day of skiing. They could stay up until three in the morning and still be up at six to hit the slopes. Where does that kind of energy and will to live in the snow come from?
We are now in the middle of March and spring is just days away. This doesn’t mean much in Canada because the spring usually doesn’t really present itself until early April – even then we might get hit by a freak snowstorm. But, as the days get longer, my heart races a bit at the idea of shedding the winter gear and welcoming a little warmth into my life. Don’t get me wrong: winter has its place. I like to ski and I even enjoy my long walks with Reilly on cold winter days (not too cold though). However, there is always a point, usually around the first week of March, where I crave a warm front that will hit us hard and fast, wiping out the snow in its wake.
My sons would consider this blasphemy. They prefer the Rocky Mountain winters where, for most of March, the base is still three metres deep and the snow shows no sign of melting away. They are even comforted by the fact that the snow will never disappear at the top of the mountains.
In a way, Reilly shares this sentiment. The snow evokes a spirit in him that gives him remarkable energy. He runs through the snow; he rolls in the snow; he even eats a bit of snow (which is kind of gross because a snowflake is essentially ice surrounding a piece of dirt – a point that becomes very clear after he’s taken in a mouthful and winds up gagging. All I can do is give him a disapproving look, knowing that he will never learn).
Today, Sharon and I took Reilly through the town of Thornbury, across the bridge by the mill, over to Bayview Park. I let him off the leash (don’t tell the bylaw dudes) and Reilly sniffed and ran and rolled to his heart’s content. The entire walk was a celebration of snow. In fact, it was like we were constantly stopping so he could roll around in the white stuff and then look up at us as if to say, “Do you believe this? This is so cool.” (pun intended)
I am not going to feel sorry for Reilly in a few short weeks when the snow goes away. Like I said, I’ve had enough. I am gearing up for golf season. However, what I am going to miss is that energy. It’s as if he gets me through the late winter blahs by showing me how exciting his life can be. Instead of getting stuck in the frigid reality of a long winter, I get to see the inherent beauty of a winter’s day through the manic movements of my puppy.
Inherent beauty or not, the snow’s gotta go – not just because I am sick of it, but because the seasons demand it. Spring will usher in colour and smells and sounds that will re-energize me (and you, I hope). And the great thing about Reilly is that he will not mourn the death of winter. Instead he will seamlessly transition into spring.
And I will reward him for getting me through the end of winter with longer walks and, at times, I will look at him amidst the emerging leaves, budding flowers, green grass, and warm sunshine and say, “Do you believe this? This is so cool.”