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Unforgettable First

It was a cold winter morning when I got up. It was just yesterday. I woke up with a little head ache, not knowing if it was because of the weather or the late nights I’ve spent reading the book, The Seven: The Key of Credence, Crisner, a good friend recommended. I have flipped through the pages more than a few months ago, but I never got some time to finish it before I left Philippines. I was rushing everyday for the more important things to do, the checklists of the things I need to bring, essential documents to secure, endless list of people to visit and friends to see, dinners and farewell parties.
 
And so I began to read it again . . . from the start.
 
The other morning I woke up having in my memory some scenes depicted from the book. I must have really paid attention to every word on it and felt I was in the scene.

Somebody knocked on my door and it’s Auntie Juliet. “Come out there,” she said “We’ll go to McDonalds.”She is craving French fries and Tia, her certified cute little girl, is craving her chicken nuggets.

It was quite unbelievable that a minus seven weather and a minus nineteen wind chill in the morning could all of a sudden drop to zero and no wind chill at all by the afternoon. That made all of us immediately grabbed our ski pants, boots and winter jackets and all together declaring, ‘this afternoon is going to be extraordinary.’

We dined at McDonald’s, our very first treat for the year. Unlike in the Philippines, having a McDo meal seems ordinary and even young kids can afford to buy one. But for this family, it’s a treat, and Tia is terribly happy to have it once a month. Uncle Vaun, her dad, paid for it all.

We then headed to the Forks, a city park known for Tobogganing, ice skating, hockey, and many others and is often visited during winter. It is noticeable that families are coming in, with each little kid holding his own hockey stick, ice skating shoes or sled. It was still so clear, the skies so white and the sun shines brightly. Even as it gets a little darker, kids keep on coming, tagging along their mom or dad or somebody else and enjoying weather.

It is in moments like this that I silently wish all my loved ones are with me, to share with them my first time experiences too. So I took all the courage to sit on a sled, and I savored my first glide as Uncle Vaun gave me a push and off I went down the hill. I had a good five tries I bet and it was great. 

I said to myself, someday, “all my dreams of ice skating, skiing and riding on a sled will be shared by my child too”. After about a good thirty minutes of up and down the hill climbing and sliding, we went inside the market place and grabbed some hot chocolate. We watched Tia as she enjoys circling around the ice skating rink and it was such another great view, where old people like grandma and little kids as young as three years old are skillfully and gracefully gliding on their skating shoes.

Truly, it was another day for me to celebrate, the surprises that each day brings. Not realizing that yesterday was indeed special and I will never forget it, because it was my first month after arriving here in “Winterpeg” as many people fondly call the cold city of Winnipeg. Years ago, I was only dreaming about the snow, about Canada, about everything. And now, all these are coming into a reality. I am in Canada. And I am seeing, feeling and smelling the snow every day and every night. I am walking on snow and I love the small tinge of coldness when the snowflakes drop on my face. I am seeing many Canadians of different cultures all around and I am getting used to and definitely loving the way of life here.

Indeed, we can never really estimate the power of a prayer. I once asked for these in prayer and here now they come, so many blessings came along with my decision to come to Canada. And each day that I am here, I will not stop uttering my prayers of thanksgiving for such a wonderful life and for all that awaits me from this day onwards.

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