One season, two seasons, three seasons, four.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. Weather has saved many awkward small-talks, and has been the breaker of so much ice.
We comment on it, complain about it, and joke about it. Weather shapes our perceptions of the seasons, of where we live, and adds weight to how we’re feeling every day. It’s always there, right in our faces. It shapes our day, our month, our year. We absolutely can’t escape it. There are some who go their entire lives experiencing only one kind of climate.
Considering we are trapped in, converse about, and are shaped by weather, I’d like to give it careful consideration as being an important aspect of our lives.
I’ve lived in three entirely different climates in my 26 years: the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest; or more specifically, Southern California. Weather conversations and their frequency have been unique to each climate It’s given each city its own spice; a little something extra to define it by.
Let’s start with The Midwest. Around here, you aren’t going to hear too much daily chatting about the weather unless IT’S THE SNOWPOCALYPSE. Or, if there is a tornado. This is because the Midwest gets all kinds of weather, with many sudden changes. It take a slice of each seasons pie. You’re sure to get a little winter all over your spring, and sometimes even on your summer. There’s a mess of slush, sun, frozen ground, blizzards, humidity, wind, rain, extreme heat, wind and thunderstorms, all rolled up into some kind of insanity that’s prone to change every three days.
Next was a big move to the Pacific Northwest. Weather may come up in conversations between friends but when it comes to trivial daily comments, especially between strangers, lips are mostly shut. No one wants to bring it up. Too many have to deal with those pesky ‘winter blues’. But when it does come up, here are a few comments you may here.
This 147th day of complete cloud cover and cold drizzle is starting to get to me.
Suuuuuuunnn, Must. Go. Outside! (Widespread commentary, by everyone, sometime in early fall during that coveted one week of nice weather).
And that’s it. I’m already starting to feel a bit melancholy and incurably withdrawn.
Moving on to the Southwest! Around here, you can count on hearing about/commenting on/re-commenting on the weather.
Wow! What a beautiful day!
Man it’s nice out!
It’s so pleasant!
It’s just great outside, perfect beach weather!
Whoa it’s RAINING, and there have been 345897956342645 car accidents! Did you hear it’s raining?? Look, it’s raining! I can’t believe it’s raining! Phew! I’m glad we made it out alive, it was raining for nearly 8 HOURS! You were out in the rain? How are you not dead?!
The rain is always needed, and for some it’s a refreshing change. But just like snow in Seattle, things get a little crazy.
I’d be curious to see what get’s more talk time: rainy days in Southern California or warm sunny days in the Pacific Northwest?
We constantly make the observations and bathe in the excitement of change but don’t often think about particular climates and how they’ve shaped us, how we’ve reached our weather conclusions for each day. Take a bit of time on this, on what feelings come up from the weather you experience now, and why.
For me, cold and unpredictable was the norm, until I moved to the rainy and depressing, and landed in the pleasant and beaming.
I’m in San Diego. It’s cold and rainy and it’s affecting everyone’s day in a major way. It’s been the inspiration for this post. Some people are scared because they have to drive in it. Others are reveling in a change, or relieved the area is getting much-needed moisture.
I dislike rain and especially hate cold. But I’ve come to the strange realization that occasional cold weather is comforting to me. There is a settled in feeling. It’s not just the feel of the cold. It’s the smell of the rain, the security of a sweater, the red of my cheeks when I get inside. A chilly day really does bring me joy. It reminds me of hot chocolate, earthworms, taking shelter with friends at a neighborhood bar, stumbling out by 6pm so we don’t have to face the cold sober. It reminds me of curling up in a blanket right after a hot shower. It reminds me of surprise days off of school and jumping in leaf piles and festivals on frozen lakes and sledding. It reminds me of holidays and lights and love. I’ve gained an appreciation for a cold day.
How has weather shaped you? Use your weather memories to add meaning the next 1,000 times you hear how about this weather. Maybe it’s time to dance in the very same rain you thought you hated.