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November leaves fall in pools of cold wet, and so comes ol’ man winter

25 Nov

Winter is a reminder of our mortality; darkness, rain, damp bone chilling cold, painted in shades of grey. We flee its presence, hiding in coffee shops, drinking bowls of soup, and counting the days to a distant spring, the arrival of the first cherry blossom on Beach Road.

Every year around this time I am reminded of a short piece I wrote many winters ago.

A state of emergency has been called. Panic is in the air: people running everywhere, car horns, yelping dogs – crying, screaming, and pandemonium. Never have I seen a city like this, never would I have imagined my home, my neighbourhood, my people torn apart in such a way.

The disc arrived in the sky a little after 14h00 today, Pacific Time. There had been no warning, no sirens; nobody was prepared for its presence. Yet today our world has changed, changed in the blink of an eye.

Vancouver will never be the same.

It appeared, glowing, orange, and warm. We were confused, shielding our eyes from its brightness.

“What is it?” asked a Lululemon clad woman clutching her miniature doberman.

“I don’t know man,” mumbled a beefy gym dude from under his brim hat.

“Is it dangerous to look at?” cried an elderly lady.

Panic began sweeping through the watching crowds, as people massed on the banks of English Bay, Kitsilano, and Ambleside, dazzled by the spectacle of the bright orange disc hovering over the waters of the Salish Sea. Hysteria was but a breath away, and not even the police could contain it. And then, just as the crowds were about to take on a life of their own, came the announcement, broadcast on the airwaves and across the Internet.

“Attention, attention Vancouver. No, this is not the end of the world, no the object is not a UFO from a distant civilization, rather it is something called the sun.”

“The sun?” We all asked, turning to our rain soaked neighbours.

“What is that?”

…and then it was gone behind another swath of cloud.