The Sea Fret

I am much more aware of the weather in Halifax than I ever was in Toronto.  I think this is probably one of the reasons I didn’t like living in Toronto all that much, the sense of enclosure from the buildings, that the weather was rarely itself, but always funnelled through Bay Street or down College.  There were a few notable exceptions, mostly thunderstorms I watched coming in over the lake from my balcony.  I couldn’t see the lake, but I did have a good view of the CN Tower, and once saw lightning strike it.

Halifax, though, is small enough and the buildings short enough that the wind is known through the trees and the clouds and the colour of the sea glimpsed down Jubilee or from the crest of the road near the Citadel.  Today it’s a grey-green, like some sort of dull jade, reflecting thin grey clouds moving fast.  The rain stopped mid-morning: Everyone’s attention is pulled upwards to the middle region of the wind.

The wind’s coming from the west, perhaps a little south of west, so it doesn’t smell like the sea.  There are two souths I’ve noticed from the wind: the near south, when the wind smells like baking from the bread factory a few blocks south of me, and the far south, when it smells like the sea.

The west wind is just blowing the blood up, making you think of heading east to adventure.  Autumnal wind, though it ought to be winter; the rain of the last week has washed away the dump of snow we got at the end of November.  It might well blow in winter, this wind, with the sunlight a steely grey.  The sea, I imagine, is fretful, blowing this wind to us.  I’ll have to go for a walk later to the Northwest Arm, to see the billows even on an inlet.

Yesterday they were fixing power lines and building roofs, along the streets I walk to work.  Today we career down the streets as if we’re barrel-riding with Bilbo Baggins, exhilirated, astounded, a little battered by the sheer force of the wind and the projectile leaves.

A blustery day, as Winnie-the-Pooh calls such a day in the Hundred Acre Wood.  A day where the world isn’t so much issuing an invitation as shouting gleefully and banging pots just for the joy of the noise.


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