We have some friends who moved to Australia this summer, so this is their first snow-less Christmas season. They profess to be overjoyed at this. Which I don't disbelieve at all, but I can't really empathize. We had quite a bit of snow on Wednesday, and it was windy and cold and I had to take the kids to the dentist and I slid through one intersection and it was a pain in the ass parking and slopping in there with our boots and everything... and I was just ludicrously happy. Today it took me and Eve half an hour to walk home from the bus stop, which is just at the end of the street. She flung herself at every snowbank, slid belly down onto driveways, climbed the highest ones and bellowed that she was the queen of the castle and, well, you know what that makes me, but it was still enjoyable.
I'm convinced that part of my depression in November was that we didn't have a proper fall. It rained so much that there just weren't enough of those clear, sweet, sharp days where the air is clean and colours seem brighter. I think I need the seasons to change.
This makes me wonder, though, what would happen if I moved somewhere where seasons didn't change, where the weather was more or less the same all the time. Would I be a different person? Would my crazy roller-coaster bumper-car moods smooth out? Can seasonal affective disorder even exist where there are no seasons? And if this was the case, if I would be sailing a less turbulent emotional sea, would that be something I would want?
One of the things I really liked about The Cellist of Sarajevo was that it made me understand how people can love a place, a homeland, so much that they won't leave it, even when staying means they live under the most stifling, deprived, terrifying conditions imaginable. I guess this also explains why people refuse to leave their home even when their are no jobs available.
Few people actually get the chance to determine their ideal place to live and then live there. The people who consider it important enough to do this no matter what are often courageous and admirable. They're not like me, though. I don't know that this is the perfect place for me to live. It aggravates my allergies. It's humid in the summer. The whole language-rights debate spikes my blood pressure on a regular basis. But the seasons change, my husband has a good job, my kids go to a great school, and we have some wonderful friends. I don't know if we'll stay here forever. But for now, I'm happy enough, icy winds, big snowbanks and all.