March 4, 2011
These are definitely NOT the kind of pictures you’d expect to find on a tourism site! But this isn’t a tourism site, of course. Penticton is definitely a lovely place, and there is beauty to be found in many spots. But the reality is that no matter how beautiful a place might be, there is something scruffy about end-of-winter-days.
The skies are scruffy, as worn out winter clouds try to hang on just a little longer, attempting to block out those impertinent warming spring rays of sunshine that threaten to disintegrate them altogether. Poor snowmen have lost their lovely rounded pure white figures and are slumping into grayish blob-shapes, their eyes and noses and mouths drooping and then slipping into the muddy ground at their feet. Jagged heaps of tired snow at the edges of parking lots range from pale speckled grays of the most recent ploughings, to filthy blackness from ploughings long days since.
Cars line up dejectedly in dull drive-throughs, their drivers longing for a cup of java to give them the jolt they need to wake up on this grey melting morning. An abandoned grocery cart sits still and lonely in a back alley, its wheels tangled in scraggly weeds poking up through a ragged crack in the pavement. Construction sites sit quiet and dejected; inside work continues, but outside they look as though some futuristic cataclysm has left them abandoned and hopeless. Summer vacation travel homes sit lonely and imprisoned behind fences, their windows like empty lifeless eyes reflecting the dull end-of-winter-light from cloud filtered skies. Long neglected playground equipment rusts slowly in backyards, surrounded by overgrown grasses and weeds that failed to receive a proper autumn cleanup. The dead pale brown of tumbleweed seems to meld into the dull dusty blues of mountains still clinging to tired old snow, and pale colorless skies. Even the cars in the adjoining parking lot, thinly coated with winter dust, meld into the general scruffiness of this late winter day.
And yet, in all of this there is a kind of quiet beauty, and a sense of hope. Because winter is nearly over, and spring must surely be right around the corner. Cause to celebrate – and to enjoy even scruffy end-of-winter days!