It’s snowing. AGAIN! The Maritime provinces have been blasted by storm, after storm, after storm this year. We’d all had high hopes as Christmas came and went without much more than a dusting. Perhaps we thought that enduring the severity of last year’s winter would grant us a reprieve. But after 166 centimeters were dumped on Saint John in just 1 week, those hopes were dashed. Since then, we have had several more big snow storms.
It has complicated the lives of many in our community. I was unable to drive someone to the financial aid offices today because the roads were unsafe. I know that my visually impaired neighbour is struggling to get around. People accessing the food bank are having a hard time getting there and forget navigating a stroller on on snow covered sidewalks.
So as we complain loudly about these hardships, I begin to think about the new immigrants who have recently moved into our city. Saint John with its weather and difficult financial climate does not seem like a likely choice for those looking to begin a new life. But there seldom is a choice. During our last English Language Café, our Chinese friend told us that Saint John was his only option if he wanted to move to Canada. So he is now here with his family trying to become more fluent in English so that he can increase his chances of getting a job. His wife is back home trying to sell their property to raise some money so they can survive here and keep their son in University. “You must be very adventurous” we told him after hearing his story. Our friend paused for a moment to translate the word in his head, then he smiled and said “yes, I am adventurous”. As we went out the door into -20 degree weather, I realized that it may be this sense of adventure that brings us together.