Swish, Clang, Brr

To every thing, swish, swish, swish
There is a season, clang, clang, clang
And a time to every purpose under Heaven.

As even the memory of the sweet swish of spring street-sweepers fades, the all-too-present clang of a truck-mounted blade hitting the driveway filters through the windows, closed and double-glazed against the cold as they are. Oh, hurray, it’s winter. Again.

A time to sweep up, a time to cast down
A time for salt, a time for sand
A time that you may just freeze
A time to refrain from dagnabbed freezing.

OK, this business of writing classic song lyrics is harder than it looks. Winter is also harder, somehow, in the doing than in the remembering.

A time to stay, a time to leave
A time to rain, a time to s(n)ow
A time for cold, a time I hate
A time for warmth, I hope it’s not too late.

As John Benn says, “The supply of Ottawa winter exceeds the demand.” This is not a problem the market’s price mechanism can solve. Neither can government intervention: It takes individual initiative. Or in a few cases, coordinated group action . . .


Honking overhead.
One in determination:
good sense in a vee.


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8 Responses to Swish, Clang, Brr

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    Having spent 6.6 hours waiting for service to get my passport renewed — and then running out of time before I actually GOT served — we can all thank our lucky stars that geese don’t have to pass through Service Canada’s portals on their way south. Can you imagine the chaos?

    Allthough I think Bob Newhart might have been able to make monologue out of it.

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – Hahaha. Indeed, Bob Newhart could make a monologue out of anything. I don’t know who he was in his private life, but I don’t suppose a profane word ever passed his professional lips. So sorry about the passport mess. I had hoped that things were better, since it seems to have fallen off the news media’s radar.

  2. Judith Umbach says:

    Ah! The courage to re-write song lyrics! Spent yesterday afternoon chopping at ice on the walk. At least it was aerobic exercise. And it was nice to finish – sort of. A bit more to go – the bit of boulevard walk. More aerobic exercise this afternoon. Mmmmm.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – That’s the spirit! My back doesn’t like any bending-over activity, still less one with a weight at a distance. I hope you have a tool that lets you tackle ice with an upright posture.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    Winter in Ottawa:
    Fir trees trembling,
    Plow blades scraping,
    Snow upon snow,
    Blow ye winter winds, blow.

    Ah, I remember it well.
    Same here in Guelph this morning.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – 🙂 And sigh. Yes, Ottawa does not suffer uniquely. Indeed, we dodged the latest storm, thereby avoiding a dump of several feet of snow. Unbelievable.

  4. Ralph Milton says:

    My mother, who was an authority on all things health wise, said that cold weather killed germs and late winter food like turnips and parsnips were good for you.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Ralph – LOL – Well, alright then. I could buy that expect for the parsnips. (For sure the Tropics have nasty amoebae and such growing in many freshwater sources.)

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