Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Change is a-coming...

I'll tell you about that later.

I took a lunchtime walk today and mused on the fact that winter really hasn't hit. Again, for the 2nd year in a row.

I mused on the fact that two nights ago I'd been cursing how frigid the air felt, craving to no-end warm nights, an end of winter, an end to seasons, an end to being permanently cold and pale. And then today, on my walking lunch, when I was almost too warm with my coat on after a morning of fog and rain and grey had burned away to sun, blue skies and temperatures in the 40's, I thought how annoying it was that cold winters appeared to have gone. Just ended. When I'd only been here for two years, three winters in total.

I had a cold winter my first one here - 2010. When all the storms kept hitting New York, when the city was shut down because the biggest blizzard in decades hit on Christmas, before the plows were all prepared, and people residing outside of Manhattan were trapped in their neighborhoods, unable to drive down the streets. I lived in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan and so - despite being trapped in California from my Christmas travels for longer than anticipated - I suffered little besides some slippery commutes into work.

Then in 2011 was the earliest snowstorm in memory, snowing out Halloween and catching yours truly in her gym clothes and tennis shoes attempting to find the housing that would replace her Upper East Side studio. This was after Tropical Storm Irene had been threatening to rip through New York - a neck of the states that has never suffered hurricanes or tropical storms of any sort - and I was held over night in the Chicago O'Hare Airport trying desperately to return home from a cousin's wedding down south.

This year, 2012, I am happily residing in my Brooklyn apartment, when Hurricane Sandy hits. Destroying Halloween and cancelling all festivities yes, but moreso destroying more of New York than any storm ever before. On par - if not worse - devastation than that caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, there are parts of New York (Long Island, Staten Island, outlaying areas of Brooklyn and Queens) that are still not running back to "normal" yet - almost 2 months after the fact.

Tell me climate change is a lie. Sheesh.

But I can say, as used to cold winters as I apparently have become since moving here - now that the 40's are apparently too hot to zip up my coat, and this after having been born and raised in a land that rarely falls below the 50's during the height of wintertime festivities - it will take more getting used to than I can imagine to no longer have my Christmas season be a chilly one.

About two months from now, I will be moving abroad. I will be spending the next year living (and hopefully working and traveling) in Australia. From there, we will see what the future holds.

But I can tell you one thing, with absolute certainty, I am not looking forward to having such basic understandings of life be turned on their heads. I'm a summertime baby - born in July. I fully associate myself with beaches, bathing suits, barbecues, and I have always attributed that to the fact that I am a summertime baby. In Australia, my birthday will fall in the winter. It will be cold. I know it's just another day of the yaer, but to me it will feel wrong.

And Christmas, Christmas will feel very strange. It will be hot. It will be summer. So I'm trying to soak up everything I can about the chilliness of the season while I have it. In spite of my grumbling the other night. ;)

So the chorale singing I dawdled around to hear after my walk, dressed in their sweaters and tights and cozy-chic wear, that made me smile. Christmas carols, bare tree branches blowing in a winter wind, and sweaters. I'm absorbing what I can, while I can.

Before I embark on a very, very new set of experiences.