|No longer too hot for this!|
Cooler weather is a fact of fall. Summer left us two months ago and winter is not far away. Yet, like so much in life, how each of us reacts to seasonal change has a lot to do with where we live, and probably where we grew up.
I spend the first thirty years of my life in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. Lots of cloudy skies, muggy, humid summers, frigid winters, snow as a chore-producing hassle, with icy sidewalks, slippery roads, and the constant need to shovel something....that was my universe. I am reading that parts of the Buffalo area have received 6 feet of snow this weekend. That is a lot of shoveling.
Of course, I understood that places like Florida or Hawaii, or the Caribbean did not experience what I did. But, in that way of making sense of where you are, I just assumed that winters were meant to be cold and miserable, summers sweat-inducing, and the in-betweens of spring and fall not nearly long enough to make up for their evil twins.
Then, I moved to the Southwest. Are you kidding me? There are places where people don't shovel much of anything, plus blue skies and even the sun most days? Because of low humidity levels, it is possible to see 30 miles to the horizon? Winter is to be celebrated, not feared?
I immersed myself in a new understanding of how the weather could directly affect my mood. Three overcast days in a row suddenly seemed unnatural. Rain became a natural phenomenon worthy of soaking in the experience while sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee.
Blistering summer days were not a biggie. I spend most time inside air-conditioned spaces. Unlike snow, sleet, or ice, there was no shoveling. I could structure any time outside for early or late and hibernate during the day. I found adaption to the new normal easy.
Hot days start sometime in April and last through most of October. The various equinoxes that mark seasonal shifts don't apply. For us, fall starts about now. January often includes stormy weather with temperatures in the 50s from time to time, so that must satisfy nature's need for winter.
By late February it is not unusual for the thermometer to creep into the 80s every now and then. By March, we are skipping what you probably think of as spring to begin an early summer warmup.
After 37 years of this, I accept our off-kilter way of marking the seasons. But, I have developed a special love, an almost religious greeting of cooler weather. It is welcomed with open arms (and windows and doors). Here in late November, we are just leaving the 80s with the 70s and 60s as the norm. This lovely condition will remain until the atmosphere turns the heat back on in four or five months.
When I was younger, cooler weather and early sunsets felt like a kind of death. The scourge of a frozen winter was bearing down on me and there was to be no respite for many months. Now, cool weather is a rebirth of being able to reengage with nature, fresh air, and a reinvigorated attitude.
How do you feel about autumn and the inevitability of winter just a month ahead? Do you welcome the changes, or are already making plans for what to do next spring? Is a frozen pond the perfect place for an afternoon of ice skating, or a reminder that it is way past time to pack away your shorts for this year?
My attitude has changed completely based on where we live.
How about you, even with a ton of lake-effect snow covering the ground?