Here in Alberta it is minus 31 and the world experts are in Copenhagen talking about climate change. It appears that as Canadians we have failed miserably in keeping the agreement made at Kyoto, worse than that we have undermined the process. The Albertan oil sands are being targeted as an environmental disaster. I hear this on the news as I drive along the Bow River clusters of ice float on the dark surface as ethereal vapour rises off the water, frosting the trees that fringe its banks. It is so starkly beautiful in the bright Albertan sun. It is hard to get excited about climate change, not global warming, when on the other side my SUV window my skin would freeze in minutes.
The mall and superstore is busy with heavily clad folk from all over the globe bemoaning the cold temperatures and no doubt dreaming of warmer weather in their homelands. It is obvious that retail therapy is one of our nations chief pleasures on a cold day. Easy to forget the dangers of our climate while listening to Jingle Bells, and wondering what Christmas presents our loved ones would like. Calgary has doubled in population since we moved here in 1990. The new comers including ourselves lured by jobs and for some, the proximity of the Rocky Mountains.
I visit with my women friends, one confesses how hard it has been to care for her autistic daughter, another in her eighties is convalescing from a knee replacement and now her back hurts, and another is the sandwich generation running to medical appointments with her 90 year old mother, living with her two teenagers and finishing her master's thesis. We listen and honor the struggle of each other's journeys.
I am reminded in this frigid weather, stories of struggle and courage, of my yoga teacher as she circled her forefinger and thumb in the meditation. "My Indian teacher said, this reminds us of how little we actually know."