You always take the weather with you

Is there anything better than beautiful weather? I’m sitting at home, on an evening that can only be described as beautiful, feeling as though nothing could be nicer. On a night like this it seems quite feasible that even being somewhere glamorous, involving hot springs, jacuzis and cocktails, would not be any nicer than just sitting here, looking out over rooftops at the pale blue evening sky, listening to birds chirping in the trees, and the intermittent chirrup of a cricket, while I sip on a glass of wine.

Sometimes I think that if it could just be light until 9pm every night, all year round, life would be constantly cheery. Even though I know that’s not true.

The silly thing is that only yesterday I wrote 3/4 of a post about how we were experiencing an early Autumn.

Ha! Welcome to Melbourne, where the temperature ranges from 40 degrees to 12 degrees within the same fortnight, and if you write a post about the weather, you’d better finish in one go or it will become useless! (Or, fiction!)

Anyway. While I’m on the topic (by the way, it’s great that you’re so keen to hear about the weather!) this Summer was predicted to be a scorcher. Last November, or thereabouts, I kept hearing rumours that “they” were saying it was going to be a stinking hot summer.

Tax_experts

After weeks of consultation, a panel of Global Warming experts in Melbourne today announced that if the weather gets any hotter, they will be forced to remove their jackets. (pic: Wikimedia)

Now, I don’t know who “they” are, but as far as I could glean from this third hand information, it sure as hell sounded like “they” knew what “they” were talking about. 

So on the basis of this relayed intelligence, I gritted my teeth, and tried to mentally prepare for an unbearably hot summer where I would feel as though I lived in an oven. I love my little house, and my bedroom with the view of the rooftops and the sky, but my room is upstairs, you see, (thus the rooftops, and sky) and on a 40 degree (Celcius) day it’s about 125 degrees upstairs.* 

But I need not have worried, for we are into our third (and, according to my scientific calculator, final) month of Summer, and so far we’ve only had to endure maybe 2 days that were a sweltering 40 degrees, and possibly another 3 that were around 38 or 39.  Yawn! We’re Australians –  that’s not a HOT summer! A HOT summer is when you cook your barbeque by just letting the cow wander out into the back yard for a while.

Photo: StickerEsq

I object to that part about cows.

I object to that part about cows.

In fact, it’s been a really nice summer – but WAIT!! How much can I say about….weather? At this rate, weather will become most used tag on this blog, possibly outranking even Nigella Lawson’s Ears, and making my blog seem uninteresting to anyone except desperate weather presenters who’ve left it till the last moment to put their report together. (Good luck!)

Well, strangely enough,  I’ve realised as I’ve been writing, that this post probably isn’t really about the weather. It’s about why the weather has been making me feel sad.

That’s because (until today),  it’s been feeling like a premature Autumn for the past week or so. So much for the long hot Summer. In the past week, temperatures at 7am have been as low as 12 degrees. 12 degrees??? Reminder – it’s still summer, and I’m in Melbourne, not in Reykjevik. After 3 ridiculously cold mornings in a row last week, I gave in and flicked the central heating on.

And even doing that made me feel sad, so I suspect that I’ve been affected by the mood that Autumn – especially a premature Autumn, arriving in the middle of bright, warm weather – brings with it: there’s a sudden coolness in the air, a different light, and a sense that things are changing, and dying, and that time is moving on. Turning on the heating reminds me of the first Autumn I spent in this house, and memories of times that are recent, but prior to September 2011, always come with the caveat that my brother was alive then. Not so long ago.

At least, that’s what I’m attributing to the fact that thoughts of my brother have been popping up a lot lately. It may just be that some more of the unconscious work of grieving has been plugging away, deep down underneath my conscious thoughts and has finally reached the surface.

It’s not new that I think about him, but lately, while I’m doing something mundane, like rinsing vegetables at the sink, his presence suddenly crosses my mind for a split second. I see him, exactly as he was the last time he was in my house, or the way he looked at the age of 14, in a photo I was gazing at 2 weeks ago at my parents house, and I can almost hear his voice, and smell his presence. At those moments, some part of me still doesn’t believe this person is dead.

Can I blame the weather for this, or is it yet another “stage of grieving” – 18 months later? Perhaps it’s a little bit of both. It doesn’t really matter. I guess I’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether I like it or not.**

In other words, it’s Melbourne, so it will probably be 38 degrees again by Friday.

*

(*No formal method of measurement was used to come up with that statistic. Any resemblance to a real measurement of temperature is purely coincidental and no correspondence will be entered into on this matter)

** This is a misappropriation of a quote attributed to the poet and critic, John Ruskin, on WorldofQuotes.

***Update, written the following day. Yep, folks, I had no idea what the forecast was when I wrote this last night, but it just so happens that today it’s 38 degrees!!! Call it coincidence if you like.  I would.

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12 Comments

  1. I think its totally okay (maybe even normal) to grieve 18 months later…even 18 YEARS later when something reminds you of the person. Losing someone who goes before their time would be especially difficult (I would think :P) In any case, I hope the weather turns sunny again, soon 🙂

    P.S. I have always wondered who THEY are!

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    • I guess so. Just odd that the weather should be the catalyst for my emotions. Then again, maybe THEY would say it’s not odd at all! 😉 Thanks for your comment.

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      • It is really bizarre how weather affects emotions. I have experienced that a little, too. THEY sure do have a lot to say! Hmmm…now I really want to write a post about all the THEY SAY’s…so I can figure out who THEY are! 😉

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      • Actually I think there is actually something called SAD – seasonal affective disorder, or something similar. And think of all those black films that get made in places like Finland and Russia. If I lived somewhere gloomy I’d probably be bawling about my brother
        all day long. (Why didnt i mention any of that in my post? only thought of it now!) Maybe my next post will be about that, while you uncover who all the THEYS are!

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  2. First, i want to send you Hugs.
    Second, I really like the image that popped in my head about that barbeque… 🙂

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    • Thanks for the hugs! That barbecue story was not true, just in case you, or any outraged cows that live in your area, were thinking of taking legal action.

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  3. Everyone says that if you like Dunedin (NZ, where I live), you’ll love Melbourne… So I can totally identify with the weather thing. ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ was a NZ song, right? 🙂 We’ve also been having one of the best summers ever, until Monday when it poured and poured and galed and then it was about 7 degrees outside when I got up on Tuesday.

    Autumn is my favourite season, though. I love the crisp mornings and dramatic trees and sunny calm afternoons and long crimson sunsets to watch while we have tea (instead of at bedtime, in summer, or while I’m cooking tea in winter).

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    • Ha ha, I was going to refer to Four Seasons In One Day in that post…you know we like to claim that Crowded House is an Aussie band, don’t you? 😉 We also think that phrase was coined especially for Melbourne’s weather! I’d like to visit Dunedin one day, haven’t been to NZ yet. I do love Autumn actually, despite the tinge of sadness it contains.

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  4. Well as a Canadian, I know that talking about weather is our national pass time, and a daily ritual. I think we are in fact profoundly affected by such things as weather and landscape, especially if we are lucky enough to be part of it, such as your attic bedroom and your rooftop views, your chirping crickets and birds. (I lived in Australia once and the birds and crickets were so noisy I couldn’t sleep!)

    I always find autumn a sad time. I don’t like the end of summer, and the onset of the dying season. It has its beauty, but I always mourn the loss of the bounty of life of spring and summer. So its not surprising that this would remind you of your brother, and the tremendous loss of him in your life. I am sad for you.

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    • Thanks Tandi. I know that you are too familiar with this sadness. I think you are right about our being affected by the weather and the landscape. It really can lighten your heart, or add to its heaviness. I’m looking out at a sunset while I write this, and sending my thoughts to anyone else who has lost a much-loved little brother. x

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  5. I think the weather affects us a great deal. (When I was teaching I knew that those gusty, blustery days were going to be hard work, as the wind seemed to spin the kids’ brains around.) Maybe now we are so far from the natural world that we discount the subtle influence of the weather on us. And grieving? I think that changes form, but it goes on…. Hugs to you.

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    • Thanks Anne! You may be right about us discounting the affect the weather has on us. Interesting to hear how the wind effected the kids’ behaviour!

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