Will You Become Nostalgic for Weather?

Will You Become Nostalgic for Weather?

Living in Southern California provides many positives: a major one, weather. The Golden State truly provides days and days of sunshine which can lift the spirits and certainly makes nature-deficit disorder a rarity. (Coined by Richard Louv, nature-deficit disorder refers to people of all ages who are disconnected from nature, spending inordinate amounts of time indoors.) But in most climates, we are lured outdoors to walk or participate in sports. Even in cold climates nature provides ice skating and skiing, snowshoeing and sledding.

SEASONAL AFFECT DISORDER or SAD

Variety is the spice of life and that is also true for weather. People begin to feel depressed if the sun doesn’t shine for days at a time. I’ve written about that too–in a post about Seasonal Affect Disorder. Those of you living in temperate climates are familiar with this condition: SAD is diagnosed when a patient experiences depression and other symptoms for at least two consecutive years during the same season; and it generally applies to people dealing with long winters where sunlight is rare and the body begins to suffer–not only from outdoor activities being curbed but also from the physical affect that light has on the body. Because there is a definite relationship between light sources to the body and the production of serotonin which affects our moods.

FOUR SEASONS ARE THE BEST!

But though sunlight can lift the spirits, a person’s memory bank of weather also plays a part–we love rainy days and snow days and autumn days. A temperate climate allows for FOUR SEASONS that have definite borders. When autumn approaches, leaves change color and drop from the trees, grass begins to form deep roots instead of height, the air gets cooler and the days shorter. Fall requires different clothing and there is nothing better than a brisk walk in brisk fall air. It has its own perfume, its own way of touching the skin.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DOES NOT HAVE FOUR SEASONS. IS THAT GOOD?

In Southern California the shift into fall is often imperceptible. Yes, the days get shorter, some of the trees drop their leaves, but much of the vegetation keeps on flowering so that there is not a definitive change. I miss that. Then suddenly it is Christmas and folks, like those in the midwest where I lived most of my life, are driving cars with an evergreen tied to the top. But it takes some adjusting to drape Italian lights in foliage that is still bursting with greenery. Winter here is our rainy season. The nights do get colder and the rose bushes and hydrangeas get cut back. But there’s no snow. You can travel to northern parts of California to ski, but last year our snow depth in the mountains was very low. This year it is greatly improved.

WOW, SPRING IS COMING AND I ENVY YOU IN TEMPERATE CLIMATES!

Here’s my point: many of you are about to or just now experiencing the beginning of spring. I envy you. The air begins to warm and you shed your jacket by 11:00 am. The trees begin to flower–redbuds, forsythia, then magnolia and fruit trees. Tulips and daffodils push up from the earth and the days get longer. You find yourself pulled from your home where people’s voices once again blend with birdsong and the buzz of tires on the street. It’s truly a rebirth and often produces a smile from a stranger. Because we all feel it–new life, green grass, bluer skies.

WOULD YOU WANT TO LOSE YOUR FOUR SEASONS???

Nostalgia for weather accentuates how grateful I am for nature and all that it provides us. So when spring begins and like a wave of blessing speeds across our country warming the winds and pulling people outside–consider: we need to protect the seasons, make sure that we don’t lose them, honor all the memories we have of spring, summer, winter and fall.

PLEASE FIGHT FOR THE EPA! FIGHT FOR YOUR SEASONS

So forgive me for this final thought, but if the Evironmental Protection Agency is defunded the way the current government is talking about–the entire country might eventually have the desert-like climate that is Southern California. No more leaf-peepers in New England; no more skiing in Colorado; no more ice-fishing in Minnesota. This is no joke. We must fight for the four season. Fight for clean air. AND ESPECIALLY, fight for clean water. No human being can survive without water–lots of it. To learn more go here. (Five Reasons to Like the Environmental Protection Agency)

I love talking about the seasons and how in some climates they are SO different. Which season is your favorite? Whichever you choose, I hope you don’t lose it. Help protect our earth. Help save our seasons or you might become nostalgic for weather you will never see again. Help fight for the EPA.

 Photo source: Pinterest

8 thoughts on “Will You Become Nostalgic for Weather?

  1. Hi Beth! I think you know that I completely agree with you about protecting our environment and supporting the EPA is a big part of it…but as a person who grew up in the desert southwest I absolutely LOVE the four seasons that we experience here. Maybe because I have spent the vast majority of my life here, I acutely sense the change of seasons and I relish them all. True, they are much more subtle than in other areas of the country/world, but they do shift and change. Maybe also because I am such a walker and outdoor person, I see those changes every single day. The times I did live in other areas of the country where seasons are more pronounced I didn’t care for those! Like so much of life I think it comes down to our perceptions and individual temperaments. And ultimately, isn’t it good that we don’t all like exactly the same things? ~Kathy

    • Great response, Kathy. I do think that weather blends with memory. If your Christmas did not include snow, then your memories are full in the context that you love. I do miss snow. But my memories are sheltered there. Thanks so much for your POV. Take care, Beth

  2. Climate change is real and I heed your battle cry! I love summer. Here in Portland Oregon I live in a neighborhood built 30 years ago. Of the 14 homes only one put in AC when we all built because summers were never that hot or hot for an extended period. Fast forward 30 years and every home has put in central air!

    • Haralee, fascinating. And I think that gets to the root of the fight–it is what we see and what we experience. And our memories are fertile. You cannot tell us that there isn’t change. WE REMEMBER. We know that there is. Thanks.

  3. Living in Maine, I certainly experience (and love) the four seasons (winter could be a bit shorter, however!). I lived in the California desert for 5 years (and am currently here/there on vacation) and while the year-round warmth and sunshine were great at first, I found myself missing more clearly delineated seasons (and summer was relentless!). And I’m with you on climate change and the EPA!

    • Hugs, Roxanne. I love the responses I am getting this morning. My post started out with a feeling of nostalgia. As I wrote to Haralee, they cannot tell us that there isn’t change. We feel it, know it. We remember.

  4. I love the changing of the seasons…we did not have much of a winter this year and I do blame that on climate change..the EPA is very important and I have been sending emails and calling… I do have a touch of SAD so I was a little bit happy with the no snow more sun thing….

    • Hi Renee. THANKS FOR helping the EPA. I get the SAD thing too. After long winters in Chicago and Des Moines, that is changing. But we need to stop it–we cannot lose the four seasons that our planet in temperate climates relies on. Beth

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