Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stormy Weather

We’ve been having unseasonable weather here in Northern Cali. Very wet winter, and it seems in no hurry to depart. It’s been cold and dumping for three days now, something nearly unheard of for June in these parts.

I really don’t like winter weather, I’m a shorts and sunshine girl all the way. Ok, fine, I’m a total weather weenie. I shiver in 60 degrees. I wear fleece in the summer time if there is a breeze. I’m comfortable in 90 degrees plus, and I’ve been known to happily sunbathe when it’s 105 (no joke).

But there is something especially mystical about Western storms rolling in off the sea. The heavy fog that drapes and swirls, the rolling dark clouds that roil and boil along the green hilltops. If you’ve seen Twilight, it’s kind of like that, though I’ve yet to find any brooding supernatural teenagers in our woods. Our farm is in a funny little trough, a direct line from the Pacific, to an ancient volcano, that draws the clouds and fog down its length. Very atmospheric, and very beautiful.

Provided you are inside.

If you are outside in it, it feels like the dampness is being forced past your clothes and under your skin. Numbness grips your extremities, and you feel wet and moldy. And cold. Unshakably, unrelentingly, cold.

Years ago I was working an office , and had daily phone calls with a co-worker based in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We’d share weather reports, and I was constantly amazed and horrified at what she was experiencing.

Then it struck me. Why did she care that they’d have four feet of snow and it was 2 degrees? She, essentially, was never outside. Her life was constructed such that she went from her house, to her heated garage, to her heated car, to her heated parking structure at work, and so on. She wasn’t outdoorsy, and was perfectly content to wait until July to breathe outdoor air. She even had an indoor-only cat.

Needless to say, I can’t really identify with that lifestyle. But it fascinates me, like watching an episode of Deadliest Catch. I love that show, in part because there is no part of that job I could do. I hate the cold, I have back problems, I get migraines if I don’t sleep enough, and I’m prone to severe seasickness. So no tours on the Northwestern or Cornelia Marie for me. But, the weather independent lifestyle is just as confusing to me. Imagine the cycle of seasons having so little impact?

I’ve been watching those shifting thunderheads tonight. Watching them turn dark purple with the setting sun, too weak to show through, but strong enough to change their color. 

Though they are out of place here the first weekend in June, I’d rather have them, then not notice them at all.

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