December 21, 2008

The Longest Night


Here we go again. A perfect winter scene for the winter solstice.

Along with pretty much all of Canada, we're buried in snow today. I'm thinking that, when Irving Berlin wrote his White Christmas, he clearly forgot what a pain it is to have to shovel snow three times a day.

Yeah, yeah, it's beautiful and the garden looks like a fairy tale. And I've been swimming in nostalgia; the cold weather has sent me tripping down memory lane, revisiting my memorized Toronto Christmases and looking back, Scrooge-like, at images of my kid self. Oh look, there's me skating on the outdoor rink at High Park and there's my dad, with his strange hat and a cup of hot chocolate waiting...

In my present reality, I finally got around to Christmas cookies yesterday afternoon, finishing my baking marathon this afternoon accompanied by CBC radio's annual "Joy to the World" Christmas broadcast and snowflakes falling outside the windows.
A cozy scene for sure except that behind, and despite, all the Christmas icons, Oliver seems to be dying: silently battling through the string of his nine lives with whatever sudden thing seized him four days ago when he stopped eating and drinking and pretty much moving.
The antibiotics and pain killers the vet gave him haven't helped; he struggles against the water and watered down food we force into him, and spends his days crouched in the corners of the house purring weirdly if we touch him and moaning if we pick him up.

This year, with the prediction of an additional 10 cms overnight, it's not a white Christmas I'm dreaming of. This year, more than ever, as I cope with a collection of minor calamities and the dying cat, I dream of childhood innocence.

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