For anyone who lives in the North, for anyone who knows long winters, there is a point in the middle of the month of February when thoughts of the warm season ahead of us start to feel justified and realistic. It is not that the weather has changed considerably in the previous days – the snow is still deep and getting deeper – it’s just that it suddenly becomes possible to see the clement months of mid-year over the snowbank in front of us. It is the tipping point of winter, that moment when the coming spring appears closer than the previous fall.
Here in Québec City (for me at least) we have just passed over that invisible and hard-to-define line. There are some above-zero days in the forecast, and we have an increasing amount of light every day. But even more indescribably, the calendar seems, all on its own, to have begun its slow descent toward spring. Let there be no mistake, there is much cold and snow to be had yet, but warmth and relief are on the horizon. With the worst of winter behind us, we can now legitimately dream of a bike ride on the Plains of Abraham, an unhurried walk in the Old City, and an afternoon of sailing on the St. Lawrence.