Winter has arrived in Montreal

Friends and family have been telling us how unseasonable weather has been in Canada. It reached 10 degrees celsius over the Christmas holiday!! There was no snow to speak off… And this is in the country where snow is not uncommon in october!! Winter in TO - CBC archives

Well, winter came in with a vengeance yesterday. 20 cm of the white stuff blanketed Montreal and the temperature is expected to fall to -22 tonight. Tomorrow, it will reach -17. Normal temperature at this time of year is a high of -6 and low of -15. It’s -8 in Toronto right now but with the strong wind it feels more like -19.

People here in Spain and in Brazil often ask me how can live in that kind of cold. Of course, they don’t believe me when I tell them it’s not as bad as it sounds. The clothes are appropriate, houses are built to insulate against the cold and the heating systems are very efficient. I have honestly felt colder in Brazil that I’ve ever felt in Montreal (or Toronto).

In Canada I’ve learned that winter and cold weather do not necessarily equal dark weather. Since the sun never quite loses its strength, in Brazil the coldest days are overcast, rainy days. So, I’ve always associated cold weather with a lack of sun. But Montreal rectified that. With one of the coldest winters anywhere I also found it very sunny. The coldest days were always the sunniest and there’s nothing as beautiful as a sunny day in a snowy landscape! Just hope for no wind…

Click here for a vocabulary of all the different kinds of snow we get in Canada.


Martin Luther King Day

I don’t think there’s anything I can say about Martin Luther King that hasn’t been said before. Instead, I’ll celebrate this day by posting a section of his famous “I have a dream” speech, delivered in the march on Washington of 28 August 1963, as well as a video of the entire speech.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

For a full text version click here