“After you start learning all about the mechanics of piloting a riverboat, you stop seeing all the pretty sunsets and you start thinking about the weather.”- John Hartford
I am writing this on a chilly day. Maybe it feels even colder because there is no indoor heating but it does feel a little cold, especially at night. My body is ok with that because for me it is supposed to be fall. Sure there are no brightly colored leaves slowly drifting down to Earth but there is a certain crispness, chill in the air. I logically know this is spring but my body feels like everything is right on schedule. I know the heat is coming. I have heard stories of hell on earth. I was told the problem wasn’t really the heat but the duration of said heat. The seemingly never-ending swelter. I’ll see but for now I can imagine tricker treaters at my door for Halloween(which doesn’t happen here), apple cider, pumpkin carving and pulling out my sweaters and pants from my winter wardrobe. I had forgotten about fall. When we started discussing moving it was in the winter, an especially cold and snowy winter in my part of Virginia. We had been snowed in at one point for days because our little Volkswagon couldn’t climb up and over the hill from our parking lot to the road. At that moment with my hands freezing while scraping the windshield while trying to avoid slipping on ice I decided I would not miss snow, ice and cold. I had loved winter as a child but the more I actually had to function in it and not just watch it through a window on snowed in school days the more my love lessened. 30 plus years of a season where I sometimes couldn’t feel my toes… I had had enough or at least I was ready for a little break. But I had forgotten all the beautiful things that lead up to winter…fall. Corn mazes, the colors and piles and piles of of magnificent leaves. You can officially classify this as my first twinge of homesickness. Gratefully though, Brasil seems to be easing me into my transition. I still get my little bit of chill, can put on a sweater at night and I can close my eyes and imagine.
Another strange thing happens when I watch the news and the weather segment begins. I think to myself, “This is not my map”. I sit there looking at warm fronts circling parts of Rio de Janeiro or monthly rain fall estimates for the nordeste and I temporarily feel a little disoriented. Where’s New York, Florida, California and most importantly my Virginia? Where are all the things I obviously subconsciously used and needed for my sense of direction and understanding of where I was in the world? During day to day living it is sometimes easy to forget that I am in a different country, a different hemisphere. My surroundings although at first unfamiliar are becoming more and more normal to me every day but the weather map is a reminder. I am somewhere else. I am somewhere else and upside down in ways. My friends are talking about fall activities on Facebook and I’m waiting for the heat to start. I spring forward while they fall back. In some ways I am starting to feel a little out of step. I don’t know the rhythm here and the beats from home are becoming fainter and fainter. Maybe I will get it and someday it will feel like my map. We’ll see.
Somewhat dreary posts are what you get from somewhat dreary days I suppose.