Some people are just built to survive all types of inclement climes, whether be it cold, rainy, stormy, hail or snow. Some people even prefer the cold to the heat. On the other hand, I live for bright blue skies and sunny days. I am, without a doubt, a fair-weather wimp.
Many of us are familiar with seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), as she comes knocking on our door at the first sign of winter and will stubbornly sit on our chest until the sun’s returned. The SADs can get the best of anyone, especially in the midst of uncharacteristic months of rain, hail, and even snow in the greater bay area of California. This winter of real weather has not treated me well. At times, I feel as battered as our demolished coast and as turned around as a tree with its roots in the sky and leaves in the mud.
I’m many things, and one of those is a California girl through and through (cue the Beach Boys and Katy Perry). I live for the sun on my face, summer breezes in my hair, sand between my toes, hiking in the great outdoors, swimming in the sea and lakes and relaxing watching beautiful sunsets. As much as I hate the droughts and love to see our hills green and our reservoirs full again, I was not cut out to survive extended drenched and darkened days and weeks.
Yet, we are coming to the end of the storms. Last week’s two or three bright days of sunshine, slight humidity and awakening of stunning blossoms and wildflowers pleasantly reminded me of this. After a long, cold winter, this week finally welcomed the first day of spring! As we creep deeper and deeper into the wonder of springtime and the rebirth of nature’s beauty in all its splendor, we WILL emerge from the tempest and, oh, the wonder that thought brings!
It’s tangible, atmospheric happiness I feel around me. I stroll across campus, feel the coddled comfort of the sun’s warmth, smell the flowers and blossoms and everything starts to feel right again. As always, this recent bout of sunny weather brought a wide smile to my face and lifted the weights off my heavy shoulders and forehead — weights I had forgotten were there until my burdens were released.
However, I saw this coming weeks ago. In the midst of the storms (and the hurricanes of midterms), I foresaw this forthcoming warmer spell of relief heading our way in my personal crystal ball aka the month-long weather report.
I have always been a compulsive weather checker. I check it every morning, every time I leave the house, every time I go to bed, every time I make a plan with someone and every time I get bored. I just need to know — not only to coordinate my outfit to avoid freezing or sweating, but to know how nature will color my day. The weather changes everything, and I want to always account for what the sky has in store.
The month-long weather forecast is just an extension of this — an extrapolation of seven-day predictions that give you more information. Laid out in front of me, I can see the next four weeks, every one of the next 28 days. How accurate is it? I have no idea! I don’t use it for perfect accuracy, nor do I expect prophetic certainty. The month-long weather report is a barometer of hope. More than anything, it’s an affirmation that the rain and dark clouds will eventually fade away and the sun will return (if even for one meaningful day that is two weeks away).
I employed its services as an optimistic motivator two weeks ago when it was raining, storming and making me want to cry with the sky. By checking the long-range weather forecast, I was heartened to know that the sun was (slowly) on its way back. Even when it was sunny again, I still peeked once more to be reassured when the sun would again return to light my world.
Winters and SADs can’t really be avoided each year (unless you fly South with the snowbirds). The four seasons will come and go as will the changes in climate and the inevitable return of the woeful dread. However, just as certainly, spring’s tentative sun will always come back. For me, regularly peering weeks in advance and assuring myself of the inevitable seasonal enlightenment is the best way to quantify this and give my brain the hope to anticipate the warmth of spring’s return.