The week is finally over and the crazy cold has gone. It’s 28F/-2C. I’m no meteorologist, but that sounds pretty average to me. All the cold just affirms to me I’m where I should be. I could probably live happily anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi.
Has it been awhile since I gleefully recounted my gratitude to be home? I feel like it has. And yet, this week, every time someone bitched about the weather, I thought, “Meh, it’s as it should be.”
Some winters are brutal, others are mild. The cold should burn your nose several times each winter. I demand snow. I want icicles. Did you know if you live in southeast Georgia for seven years, it may only snow once, and not accumulate? You’d never see an icicle in southeast Georgia. You’d see snow on palm trees, which is pretty cool, but definitely not my idea of snowy trees. Spring here is glorious. Spring tosses up bright, colorful bulbs and green grass. The incredibly verdant splendor of spring makes my heart sing. Every day, something new blooms. Spring in southeast Georgia was just a day when all the azaleas bloomed and I said, “Ooh! Aaah!” and that was that. Spring here is also wet as fuck and brings with it mud, mud, and more mud. There are floods and wet shoes and wet dogs and umbrellas bent over backwards. Fuckin whirlygigs all over the place, rooting to make new trees. Snow and ice still visit us in spring here. When, as I’ve heard this week, Hoosiers say, “That should be the last of it!” in January, I check a box in my brain noting this person is only with us in spirit. Although rare, it has snowed in May where I live. Summer is my least favorite, but then, summer brings all the fruit and fruit is my favorite. Have you even grown tomatoes? Have you ever gorged on watermelon? Pullin stuff outta the garden right and left, like, “LOOK WHAT THE EARTH MADE!” Sunflowers, okay? PETRICHOR. Summer is hot and sticky and full of mosquitoes and sunburn is a health hazard. It gets hot as blazes here, over a hundred some days and you can’t properly enjoy soda or alcohol because you have to drink water all goddamned day just to stay alive. Aggressive fucking YELLOW JACKETS! But we get lightning bugs and majestic thunderstorms, although not at the same time. When I’m red-faced and weak and itchy, I KNOW it won’t last forever. Summer in southeast Georgia is eternal. I arrived in June, did my very best to hibernate, and then when I was putting up my Christmas tree with open windows, I called my mother (Florida native) to ask her when the hell I’d ever be able to wear a sweatshirt. “Maybe February,” she said. I threw out most of my warm clothes when I lived in Georgia. When I left Georgia, I owned 14 pairs of open-toe shoes. As far as I could tell, fall in southeast Georgia simply meant people decorated their houses with things that are organic in Indiana — bales of hay, dried corn, a scarecrow. Everything just turned a darker shade of brown or a lighter shade of tan. Pumpkins couldn’t be out in that heat. Pumpkins were indoor decor, needed the a/c. Wear a tank top, not to the punkin patch, but to the BAMBOO FARM, pick strawberries, not apples, in the fall. And don’t forget the sunscreen! Here in Indiana, fall is idyllic. Fall is spotted with every warm color under the sun. The foliage is spectacular. Everywhere you look it’s orange or yellow or red and this landscape, a green carpet littered with red and orange and yellow against a blue sky, this sight catches your breath in your chest because it’s so incredibly beautiful and you’re in it! Boots! Fall is also wet as fuck here. In the fall, it floods and there are wet shoes and wet dogs and umbrellas bent over backwards. The gutters choke on the beautiful leaves, we slide on the beautiful leaves, and once they’ve sat, heavy and wet, they’re a rusty, murky shade of brown that presents a moldy odor that some of us cannot get enough of. That smell, accompanied by the smell of burning leaves is the quintessential smell of autumn, and for me, sheer bliss. And it might snow. And here, it is always “tornado season.”
If you live in a place like mine, you know. There are extremes in the heights of each season. Each season does what it’s supposed to do and lovers of four-season weather enjoy it for what it is — another passing phase. For people who are truly happy in four seasons, there’s a mentality of adaptability that may well translate outside our ever-changing landscape. Four-season people know how to take the bad with the good, as it seems a small price to pay for snow, but also tulips and tomatoes, and Lord Almighty, have you seen the fall on this place?!?
For other people, not so much. For me, crucial to my well-being. Feast yo eyes.