I have been realizing lately that living without clearly marked seasons is very disorienting. I never realized how much seasons structured my life and marked the passage of time. Fall with it’s beautiful foliage, holidays and the cooler temperatures that always depressed me a little since I knew Winter was coming. Winter with its freezing temperatures and short days, indoor activities, layers of clothing and fun winter sports. Spring, my favorite when we lived in Washington DC, with its warmer temperatures and green, green, green everywhere. Everybody’s moods lightened as the days grew longer. As cliche as it sounds, Spring really felt like rebirth.
And of course Summer, my favorite living in New England (DC is brutally hot and humid!), with warm weather, sunshine, long days and endless fun going to the beach, exploring small towns, swimming in ponds, hiking, enjoying fresh farmer’s market food. Heaven!
In Chia, Colombia, where we live at almost 9,000 feet, the temperature is constantly changing. While there are somewhat marked dry and rainy seasons, we basically experience Fall, Spring and Summer every day. The temperature fluctuates from low rainy and high 50’s/low 60s to sunny and low 80’s in direct sunshine, often within the span of five minutes.
Now I have to be honest, I didn’t miss the seasons much until early July when I started seeing all my clients who I coach over Skype in tank tops and shorts. “Oh, it’s Summer over there”, I would think and feel a tug of sadness. I miss Summer! Consistent, it-will-be-warm for a couple of months Summer. Wow-this-car-sure-is-hot Summer. I love warm weather and I pretty much hate cold weather.
When we moved here last July from Summer up North, I felt the drop in temperature but quickly reminded myself that come late September, I would be really happy with the weather here. And I was right. I was thrilled walking around town in a T-shirt soaking up the sunshine in December (December through mid-March is a sunny and dry time of year here). I did not miss Winter at all.
Then came Spring and I felt a little nostalgic for that sense of rebirth but I figured it was a small price to pay for escaping many months of cold. Plus, we have green leaves on trees and flowers here year-round.
By July, however, something started to feel off. It wasn’t just that I missed Summer. It was that a whole year had gone by but somehow without the seasons to mark that passage of time, I did not feel grounded. I felt unrooted. I miss having the rhythm and the structure. I have heard people who move to warm weather countries lament that they miss the seasons but I always scoffed at the idea. And now I am one of these people. Of course, we will have to wait and see if I still feel the same way come late September.