The Magic of Not-Summer

November 10, 2008

I have lived in the far south most of my life.  I was born in a northern state but moved before I started forming memories, so all I know is life with only two seasons: summer and not-summer.

I complain about how hot it is in summer and how cold it is in not-summer, but really I don’t know life any other way.  Sometimes I wonder how I would cope with living in a cooler climate.  I think I’d appreciate the summer weather, unless it got cloudy and cool for days on end.  I’ve spent some summers in Maine, and it just doesn’t feel right to be able to survive without an air conditioner at all or have to wear sweaters every morning and all day some days.

I doubt I could handle the cold weather of winter.  I’ve lived here too long where I pull out my long-sleeved clothes on the first 60-degree day and start searching for my winter coat when it hits fifty.  The thought of having snow on the ground day after day, week after week, is almost overwhelming (although personally I wouldn’t mind having at least some snow in our not-summer season).

What I want most to experience in a cooler climate is those other two seasons we never really get.  I hear all these wonderful things about fall: crisp, cooler air, colorful leaves.  It just doesn’t seem right that I have evaluate Halloween costumes on whether they would make my children swelter in that 80-degree weather we have basically guaranteed.  Who trick-or-treats in mosquitoes and shorts?  Or for that matter, who wears shorts on Christmas?  Been there, done that.

I get oddly nostalgic when I see other people’s pictures of the fall on their blogs.  I’m nostalgic for a fall I’ve never known and only heard about.

I keep hoping that one day in my future I will be able to find myself somewhere new, somewhere different, where I can experience all these lovely falls I’m missing.  I might even find it in me to accept a frigid winter if it meant I could claim all these beautiful autumns as my own.  At least until I pulled out my winter coat in September.