Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weather you like it or not ....


Gazing out at the sunrise while drinking coffee in the morning.  Running through the raindrops.  Feeling the sweat roll down your face while getting in your daily cardio.  Breaking through crusted snow while breathing in the ice cold air.  Laying in bed, sleepless, from the humid, close, still air.  Jumping up out of your spot from the loud lightning strike.  Finding your joy in the sun shining on your face.  Smelling the air immediately after a rain storm, and searching for that rainbow....

I began thinking sort of in depth about the weather this morning when I heard this song on the radio:

Age of Aquarius

Talk about a blast from the past.

This was the very first song I ever bought for my brand new record player- it was a 45,  and I played and played and played it, and added eventually about 200 more, plus all the albums.... but I digress.  The second part of that song is called Let the Sunshine In and I ALWAYS loved that part of it!  I remember seeing the 5th Dimension on TV a few times and thought the lead singer, whose name escapes me right now, was the most beautiful and elegant woman. Anywho, it was a beautiful, albeit chilly morning and that song made me so happy!  Which got me started thinking about weather.

I look at weather very differently at this point in my life because of several factors: age, weight, experience, season, photographically, artistically... and of course the sleep consideration.  I am a sun loving, nay, sun CRAVING person. (Someone on the loseit website nicknamed me Sunshine and it stuck!)  I am the one who will fling open all the curtains and turn on all the lights, as I like light.  When my teenagers at school want to keep the room dim, I am one to turn on all the lights much to their despair.  HAHAHAHA.  I can't help myself, I have always been like that.....  but back to my statement at the outset of this paragraph.  I do look at the weather with a different outlook these days, different than say.... the 25, 35 or even 45 year old Mad Art Teacher.

This particular year has been different.  First of all, winter lasted into May and that really sucked.  I do enjoy winter, but that was a bit extreme!  I mean, after all, a snow day in May was ridiculous and disheartening and it became absurd after a while.  All of our plants are delayed, the fruit is late this year, the veggies are just getting going well.  So we here are working on a summer weather deficit.  I have maintained all along that I am still not ready to complain about heat, and in fact I have not. (Ask ANYONE I regularly talk to) I really only was totally relieved when the very humid weather broke so I could sleep well again at night.  When one only sleeps 5 hours a night, that sleep needs to be as good as it can get!  The Mad Family does not have AC, either, and we usually don't really need it, but it gets pretty warm in the bedroom when the winds die down.

And in a cruel twist of "what the hell did I do in a former life to piss off karma" fate, the new ceiling fan in our bedroom does not blow air on me!  SERIOUSLY?!?!? To make a long story short, until we totally remodel the bedroom, the electric service is off to the side of the room- not my side either, and that is where the fan is and the blowing air really does not reach me, much.....  oy.

However, other than these rare over warm nights, I have found one of the unexpected side-effects of losing 70 pounds is not being nearly so hot in the summer.  This is an awesome thing.  There are so many good things about being in shape, but it never occurred to me that being cold would be one of them.    So I view the day so differently in terms of how I plan my wardrobe, not only for the cute factor, but also for the warmth factor!!  It is a regular event for me to walk in a Tshirt, sweatshirt and shorts, and know that the sweatshirt will be tied around my waist by the time I get back home. I switch up my wardrobe as the day passes, as I go to the gym, get warmer and then later get colder, and well, you know the drill.  I have more clothes piled on my floor at the end of the day than seems right.....  Lol, oh well.  I only react to the current conditions in terms of what do I get to do today!

I am in a summer of maintaining and in that realm, I am really learning to appreciate life as it comes.  The weather just happens to be a good metaphor for this process.  I embrace the sun when it appears, being outside virtually every minute of the day.  I enjoy the rain showers and thunderstorms and try to work on indoor projects during those times, along with some simple stand on the deck and smell the fresh air and enjoy the drama being unleashed.  I consider how well the tomatoes are growing with high heat and humidity and am anxiously looking forward to the bounty of the late summer garden.  I absolutely revel in a break in the summer warmth and the chill of a cool July morning.  Appreciating each day as it comes and finding a positive thing to do and a happy moment or two in whatever the day has brought.

However, the mosquitos and horse flies---  I just can't.

I do value the difference in the seasons and indeed in the variance from day to day, because good old Wisconsin gives me a rich palette of colors and light to choose from when I am aiming my camera lens.  I know now what different weather conditions will most likely reveal good sunsets and sunrises, when there will be good shadows, and also when great shots can be found in near shadowless overcast days. I always look forward to seeing what the day is going to bring and if I will be walking around outside early in the morning with my robe on taking sunrise photos.  Or just a selfie with coffee out on my deck!  And you do have to have clouds to make that gorgeous sunset or sunrise picture, even if I prefer the popcorn clouds and the bright sunny day.

The weather often gives a person something to talk about, to break the proverbial ice with a stranger, because if you have nothing in common with someone, you have some sort of connection with them through the norms and abnormalities of the seasons.  Can you think of many other things that can strike both terror in your heart and pure unadulterated joy?  And even more interesting, the same terrorizing weather to one person can be such a joy to another? The weather ebbs and flows and slowly changes, nudging us whether we like it or not, into the next season: maybe a little older, a little wiser, a little more fit or a little heavier, happier or sadder in fits and starts and suddenly another year has passed.  People come and go and relationships change, family evolves: moves, comes back or leaves us forever.  You find your true friends in unexpected places and find that others are but a fleeting part of your life.  You can't change it really, so you can either make yourself miserable or you can embrace it and enjoy it for what it is.  And the days and their tapestry of sun and clouds and rain and cold and wind and warm pull you along in spite of your wishes to do otherwise.

So for the next month, when I am at liberty to be out in the weather as much as I please, I expect to continue my summer as is: walking in the morning, gardening, sculpting and mosaic-ing, canoeing,  traveling, driving, touristing, (even a little school planning), mowing, and always always looking for that next picture that could end up on the weather - just for the fun of it.  I have had a summer that has truly been a full, luxuriously relaxing and satisfying few weeks and it gives me a lot of joy!  I have indeed learned to truly appreciate my days, no matter what the wind blows in, and I have really concentrated on getting as much done on any given day as I can.  It has made me feel like I have gotten a lot from my time in the sun.

I wish all of you all the joy that you can squeeze out of your summer, and all of the seasons.  You never know where it will be- and don't forget to find your local  joy giver. Joy stealers just aren't worth your time!

And if only for a little while- let the Sunshine in!  She probably can make you smile.

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