I love morning mists, I have missed them so much. There is no better way to start the day than awakening into a cloud, to view the gentle undulations of wisps in the treetops, the tingle of tiny water particles on your skin, to see shafts of sunlight breaking through.
I can’t believe that I’ve written umpteen blog posts without a proper rant about the weather, how very unbritish of me.
It is one of the ways I first noticed that I was an outsider, was as a young child; that I disliked being out in the sunshine, whilst everyone seemed to love it, and that others disliked rain, and I didn’t mind it at all.
To myself, I seem to be the logical one. In summer sunshine:
it’s too bright, you have to squint up your eyes, actively vary the amount of light entering your eyes, which I find a pain the backside. You have this annoying tingle on exposed skin. I sweat, constantly, which is sticky and uncomfortable. You wear light clothing, so can’t carry around equipment, without the carrying spot being a burden of a very sweaty patch. When you seek shelter in the shade or return home, it’s still too warm and sticky, sometimes I have to sleep with a ruddy noisy fan on.Everyone else expects you to feel happy and alive, when you feel the opposite.
Tommorrow, Autumn begins, my favourite season, nine whole months until wretched summer comes around again! I’m mildly claustrophobic, I hate not being able to escape. That is why I’m not a summer fan. In the winter, the wet and cold can be escaped, you can warm and dry yourself by a cosy fire in a way you can’t cool and dry yourself in those very hot summer days. The winter water runs and dances in streams, rather than lurk and stagnate.
Apparently, people’s moods are directly affected by the weather. I’m affected myself, but at different times and direction to the majority of people. I also think that people’s character and personality are influenced by the weather, not directly, but rather in two distinct ways:
1/ Individually, we have an expectation of ‘normal’ weather, the weather we grew up with, what we compare current weather with. For example: When I was in Surrey, parts of my mind kept flagging up that it hadn’t rained recently, or that the ground was always very dry. In Wales I can tell, just by being outside and feeling the atmosphere and glancing at the clouds, generally how long it will be until rain and how heavy it will be. i have learnt how Welsh weather works. Everywhere else in the world I get caught out, unprepared!
2/ Culturally, our root culture is shaped by the prevailing weather. For example: I was working in a small village in Indonesia, everyday was hot and sweaty for all of the people from temperate climes, it started raining, we just carried on working as we would at home, refreshed by the cooling water on our already damp clothes. The local villagers laughed at us! When the rain started, the locals all ran to the nearest rain shelter, every collection of houses had a rain shelter where they would gather and socialise for the twenty minutes or so of rain, then when it stopped, go back to work. Their culture had developed an effective way of dealing with how rain worked there, i.e. usually in short 10-20 minute bursts. In Wales, nothing would ever get done if we stopped doing things when it started raining!
People ask me sometimes: If I hate hot and sunny conditions so much, why it is I absolutely love spending time in the tropics? Partly it’s the sheer wonder of a completely different natural and social environment to explore. Partly it’s the normal state of things and behavior adapts to the sunny state and the monsoon rainy state. It’s actually really refreshing not to have the constant undulations and changes in the weather conditions, a state of constancy which changes the way your mind works, fixing you in place, a new freedom rather than flecked with concern for the self-questioning of stuff that may need doing before it gets too wet.
I am different, in terms of the weather at least, I have learnt to live with the differences between myself and my own culture, and enjoy the sense of sharing things with my own culture that I am not different with, I particularly love finding shared things in different cultures. I am shaped by the world and the weather, yet feel free to be different and able to feel the opposite of the weathers mood direction, which is a good place to be, whatever the weather