Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Embracing Our Differences

By Stephen Vance, Editor

Ah Mother Nature. She is unpredictably moody, seems to have difficulty making up her mind, and can at times be more of a tease than… well… let’s just leave it at that.


This past week in Meaford as the temperatures began to increase, and the snow slowly melted away, I found myself waking each morning excited about the gradual disappearance of these long winter months.


Yes, it is true, I am not a winter person. And like the 67 percent of respondents to the recent poll on The Independent, I am itching for spring to arrive.


So yesterday morning with the sun shining brightly, I stood on my wood-bare deck sipping coffee and looking about my neighbourhood at the trees that would soon be showing off wonderfully green leaves and thinking of all of the things I couldn’t wait to do when the spring season officially arrived.


Mother Nature on the other hand, had other plans.


While the sun continued to shine brightly throughout the day, the winds began to blow, the temperature plummeted, and by the time the clock rolled around to the evening hours, snow had once again begun to fall – and was being whipped around furiously – obstructing the view from my window, and once again covering my deck with the dreaded white stuff.


So much for my excitement.


It isn’t that there is nothing to do in Meaford during the winter months. We have our arena that offers free public skating, our wonderful trails can be explored with cross-country skis or snowshoes, and for those that are so inclined, we are not far from the ski hills.


But for me, the warmer months are when our little corner of the world really shines.


Nothing compares to early morning sunlight that causes the water at our harbour to glisten, or the sights and smells of blossoms bursting from the branches of our apple trees.


The warmers months offer us the opportunity to explore our trails without freezing our toes, or to enjoy a late night swim in the bay.


When spring finally arrives Memorial Park will beckon, as will the farmers’ market and the Net Shed. The sounds of snowploughs will be replaced by the clicking of skateboard wheels along the sidewalks.


We have a lot to look forward to in the non-snow months in Meaford. Fabulous events like the Duck Race, Electric Eclectics, and the Meaford International Film Festival to name a few, all happen then. And then before long we will be celebrating the winding down of the ‘fun seasons’ with our fabulous Fall Fair, and the Scarecrow Invasion.


Yes, I am definitely ready to trade in the Sorels for sandals.


And as much as I loathe the winter months, I concede that they do help me to appreciate the rest of the year so much more.


As for Mother Nature, I feel for her really. She likely relates well to our members of council.


No matter what bit of glorious work she does, she can never make everyone happy at the same time. While some like me are complaining about this seemingly never ending cold and snow, in a few short months while in the heart of the summer season, there will be others complaining about the oppressive heat.


Perhaps that is why the most unpredictable weather of the year occurs during municipal budget season. It could be an expression of sympathy on behalf of Mother Nature – a signal of solidarity and understanding for those who can never possibly please everyone.


Which got me to thinking. Maybe, just maybe, Mother Nature provides a life lesson for our members of council.


Don’t let complaints and criticisms get you down, members of council. You have a job to do, and it must be done. It is a job that only 17 people in our municipality volunteered to do at election time. And while you should never ignore the complaints or concerns presented to you, if you do your best, and you do what’s right, then ultimately that is all that can be expected.


There is also a lesson here for the rest of us. Just because some might be less than pleased about the cold, snowy winter, while others soak it up and enjoy it, that doesn’t make us necessarily wrong. It doesn’t make us warmer weather lovers bad people.


It just means that we have differing opinions. Differing opinions are what build our communities, and add that dash of spice to life.


And in a democratic society such as ours, we should celebrate and respect our differences, and the fact that we have a right to express them.


Be the 1st to vote.

Popular this week

Latest news