Today I was sitting in a meeting and I gazed outside at the hot, humid, sunny day that never ends. The weather here makes for the perfect winters and hellish summers, and apparently, a great conversation starter. But everyone loves falling back on talking about the weather, no matter what the weather is like or where you live. I suppose it's somewhat more interesting because I am from the land of insane winters. The land of resilience. Earlier this year I would say, "It's 40 below at my parents house today." I would hear something like, "Oh, how do you survive those winters?"or, "I think 70 degrees is cold!" and I say something like, "We are a resilient kind."
But today in the meeting, looking out at this endless summer, I thought I saw a snowflake fall and it took me back to the student union. The building I was in resembled the west end of the student union near the piano where it was quiet and I would sit and catch up on homework or whatever it was I was doing...I imagined myself layering up in extra sweaters, wool scarves and a big coat, going outside and feeling snowflakes falling. Breathing the icy air. Walking home quickly as possible, starting bread dough and soup, then drinking inside with friends until the early hours of the morning.
I suppose I have lived with seasons my whole life, I never realized how valuable they are to the human psyche until now. Winter everyone hibernates and has time to reflect and be still, while summer was always the time for joy and life, when everyone is outside, so active, just thankful for every sunny day. Here, albeit beautiful, it's just another day in the sun. I haven't had time to reflect or be still. And because of it sunny days aren't so much associated with joy, but guilt. Sometimes I am just tired and I need to do laundry, but I just feel like I have to be at the beach! Or perhaps I just don't feel like doing anything at all, but I feel guilty because of the ingrained idea that summer will be over soon, the thought that I can't waste this gorgeous day, winter is coming.
I haven't truly felt winter since early 2012.
And now my first Florida summer is just beginning...
I suppose that if I had been in South Dakota this year, small talk would go something like this, "I just want to see the sun!" or "This is the worst winter we've seen in years..." and I would tell everyone to quit complaining, "Layer up and love it!"
In many cultures winter represents death, and spring follows as a time of rebirth and renewal.
In Florida, summer represents hell. So what does that make the rest of the seasons?
Here are some recent photos from my current life in purgatory:
And there's this random old guy. in Delray, AKA South New Jersey.
One of my favorite things about Florida are it's bridges, more photos taken from bridges to come.