It was the first snowfall of the season. Going where the work was, me and the missus found ourselves spending the holidays in Trail BC, home to the world famous Cominco smelter. Reports indicate that the high levels of lead in the water cause 'disruptive behavior' in the youth. But what did that matter. It was Christmas in a week and the first snowfall made the town look beautiful. About an inch fell before we could even find our boots and scarves. A little musty from the trunk, but a few seconds in the delightfully crisp air would make everything all right. Noses and cheeks turned red and the wonderful white stuff covered every detail, right down to lining the picket fences. It was behind a fence such as this that we came upon a small child building a snowman. Well shiver-me-timbers, it was a scene right out of Norman Rockwell, right down to the carrot and coal just waiting to take their place on the finished piece. Then and there I couldn't help but think... you know, this town isn't really that bad...
Then as we approached, with a glint in his eye, the boy turned to us and said, "what the FUDGE you lookn' at?!" (Ed. note- the boy did not say fudge).
That boy taught me a valuable lesson - snow may cover the surface but ugly runs deep.
Now, every snowfall since, I've been oh-so glad to live in Squamish BC. Let's face it, when that snow hit, it was impossible not to look at the chief and gasp in amazement. I said it before, and I'll say it again, this town is natures honey spot and the beauty runs deep.
What we have here is to be found in precious few other locals. Big Boxes and garbage burners are a dime a dozen. Don't take my word for it. Saunter through Trail, and see what it's like to vomit from inhaling the "we assure you it's safe" air. Or pack the kids and drive through Naniamo, Langley, Surrey, or frankly, countless other towns to see what living in a Big Box community is like. But how many towns can you drive through where there is a world class granite monolith, or mountain biking that humbles even the inhuman. Not to mention the ridiculous windsurfing and god knows what else is hiding around every tree.
What we have here is paradise and you should never underestimate the value of paradise, even when the easy money says to burn it down.
My Christmas wish is that all of us, (no matter what side the bread is buttered on) wake up, look out the window and see, perhaps for the very first time, the paradise our backyard truly is.
So I say Merry Christmas, and raise a pint of Father John's Christmas Ale to all those fighting to save and shape what's left of the Recreation Capital of Canada.
Oh yeah, and Happy New Year too eh'