The Power of a Palette Cleanser

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It has been a long, tough winter in Canada.

The month of February alone felt like a YEAR with so many varieties of wretched winter weather. It was starting to feel like the only sensible thing to do was stay in bed with Domino's pizza and Netflix until Spring.

But last week, as March approached and the entire nation was wishing, longing, begging for an early Spring, I knew I needed an attitude adjustment.

I had to get a fresh perspective on winter.

Because let's be honest, we're in for at least another month of snowy coldness.

(And yes, I know many of you in other parts of the world have been enjoying unseasonably gorgeous weather. I'm so happy for you...and hate you the smallest amount possible.)

I decided to come to Quebec City (instead of Florida or some other warm place) because I wanted to throw myself into the heart of winter in this frozen country, to see if I could find a way to love it.

There are few cities that embrace winter quite the way Quebec City does. And it's also one of the most charming cities in Canada with incredible history, culture and food.

(By which I mean all-you-can-eat croissants and cheese.)

So, I hopped on the train and headed east hoping, praying, that Quebec City might be able to change my stubborn, winter-hating mind about stubbornly hating winter.

As it turns out, I didn't even need Quebec City.

I needed the space in between.

For three hours, I gazed out the window at endless blankets of pristine, sparkling snow, dotted with cheerful farms and small villages, as we rumbled through rural Quebec.

I saw little children playing in snow banks, families skating in backyard ponds and snowmobilers racing alongside the train.

Friends, winter is beautiful.

I'd forgotten.

Because it can be a grubby, slushy, icy (sometimes dangerous) mess when you experience it in the city.

My train ride was such a palette cleanser.

By the time I got to Quebec City, winter had captured my imagination again.

And reminded me that sometimes we need a dash of dreamy snowy stillness to see the beauty in our midst.

Karen Ward