Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rain Man

The dashboard says that it's 57 and sunny in Boston right this afternoon. It's gorgeous. I don't mean to gush, and I don't mean to talk about the weather, but I just walked to Back Bay station to pick up my Amtrak tickets to Philadelphia for next week, and I couldn't believe it. It distresses me as a proud Northerner and independent thinker how dependent my mood is upon the whim of nature. Yesterday it was grey and shitty and it made me feel like crap. When it's dark all the time and you're freezing, you hunker down and mood-hibernate for the winter, and I'm not ready for that yet.

We've had a gentle autumn for New England, full of beautiful days, and this will be one of the last for 5 or 6 months. I should be depressed about that, but I won't be until the sun goes away again this afternoon.

What makes me happy is this -- soon, it's going to snow. And snow is oh so much different than rain. Rain ruins your parade. There's nothing really good to do with rain, it just gets in the way of things you would be doing if it weren't raining. But you'd never schedule a parade in snow season, and if you did, you'd still have it. Snow and ice open up a new world of activity, and I'm not just talking about sliding off the road. You stare out the window on rainy days and wish you could go outside, at least I do. But on snowy days you bundle up and go play, or muscle your way to work. Even if you have work to do on snowy days, it's like a mental call-and-response: there's something to it that's there because of the difficulty, and when you go back inside you just appreciate the heat and the coffee more. And then you sick of it being damn snowy all the time, and that gives you the spring to look forward to.

I've lived in both places for brief stays, but I don't know how longtime residents of the Pacific Northwest or Britain deal with such unromantic precipitation. You can watch "Rain Man," but you can't build one.

No comments: