Although it's been almost three years since my move from New England to Southern California, and therefore three years since I've experienced the four-seasoned years I grew up with, the seasonal time clock inside me has never stopped ticking. Despite the eternal sunshine that fills the sky every month of the year in San Diego, there are nights in December when the blinds are closed and I feel like I could open them up to a snow-covered landscape.
I never thought that I would—that I could—miss winter. Aside from the holidays and the very first snowfall with its mystical beauty, it is an utterly miserable season. To people who grew up in San Diego, it is unimaginable. "You mean you literally have to shovel your car out?" Yes, and scrape ice off the windshield. Sometimes you have to walk through freezing brown slush up to your ankles just to get to your car. The wind is so cold it literally stings your face and your nostril hairs freeze. They wrinkle their noses in disgust.
Something strange happened when I moved here. Summer came...and summer stayed. It was unreal. I felt like I had cheated mother nature. A whole year came and went without snow...then another and another...then the strangest thing of all happened...the sun actually started to annoy me. I yearned for a rainy day, heck, even a cloudy day would have been nice. Something to slow us all down. Something to remind us we are only human and still susceptible to the mood swings of nature. What did we all do to deserve these never-ending sunny days? Any day like the ones I have seen out here would have given me happy goosebumps back in Massachusetts: The way the sun would finally break through the clouds after a long winter and warm the back of my neck on my walk home from the bus stop. I worshiped the sun.
It's been reasonably cold in San Diego lately (the low tonight will be 41 degrees!). We have no heat. Our little San Diego-born doggie curls up with a blanket at night and shivers early in the morning. When the sun inevitably comes out during the day I let her on our bed to warm up and I think to myself, she gets it. Sprawled out in the warm rays of sunlight, she closes her eyes and lets out a deep sigh of satisfaction.
I'll say it: I miss winter. When you suffer through winter you deserve sunshine. You earn it. You appreciate it. That's the kind of sunshine I miss—the kind that comes out after what seems like a never-ending winter and warms me through to my soul—the kind that makes me close my eyes and sigh happily.