Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Change in the Weather… A Change in Me

Ever since I was young, I have been deeply affected by the weather. As a child growing up in Western New York, a beautiful summer day full of fun was often interrupted by ache deep in my stomach that would come a couple of hours before a violent summer storm would sweep across lake Erie and fill my little ears and eyes with brilliant flashes of lightening and rumbling thunder.

It is said that smell is the sense most closely tied to memory. I believe that is true, but my own internal weather station seems to be just as powerful in taking me to other times and places. As one who spent most of my life in a different climate, I am not used to the Texas seasons or seeming lack of. In comparison to New York and Pennsylvania, Texas weather is pretty much always the same. Back home I could suffer through a streak of 100+ days in the summer and face a thermometer that spent a week below the zero mark in the winter. The seasons were radical changes that caused people to do things differently. As a kid, when that first crisp night of fall rolled in, it was time to return to school; when that first sharp icy wind blew through, it was time to put the bikes in the basement and take the sleds out of the shed; when that warm breeze blew across the snow banks, the birds reappeared, and the smell of mud filled the air it was time to bring the bikes back out and get outside; and when the heat made us restless in the classroom and all the windows were open and the fans were on, freedom returned with the months of summer.

So, I was sent into a mini tailspin this week when we hit a low of 59 and saw some cloudy skies in San Antonio. The clouds made it get dark a little earlier and suddenly, for my body it was fall, time to change gears, time to head inside, time to get ready for winter, time to gather firewood and get the clothes out of the basement. I called my Dad in New York who was sitting by a fire he has built in the fire place. But here it is supposed to be 85 tomorrow which means I should get back to work.


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