Yesterday was Easter Sunday and the weather was lovely so we sat for awhile out on our front porch in the afternoon. We had glasses of wine and we waved and chatted with the neighbours who walked by with kids and dogs and there was a light breeze and you could almost believe that the world was normal.
Today is rainy and bleak and, if the Weather Network is to be believed (and you always SHOULD believe the Weather Network), we are expecting extremely high winds along with the rain. It is currently quite blustery but these winds aren’t exactly apocalyptic just yet, just strong enough to have me venture back out to the porch to secure the cushions from our patio furniture that like to upend themselves and flit about.
Two very different kinds of days and for me, two very different ways of reacting to each during these stressful, odd, pandemic days.
I have always loved rainy days. As I said to a friend not that long ago, there is so little expectation of one during rainy days. As soon as the sun appears, no matter the season, there are always loads of people on social media encouraging us to “Get outside!” “Make the most of this gorgeous day!” “Get off your ass, go for a walk, it’s beautiful out there!” There is a LOT of pressure to be outside in the sun when the sun makes an appearance. (Also can we please take a moment to discuss those irritating people who say this to the people whose JOB it is to be INSIDE so those same “Get outside!” people can purchase the goods inside or use the services that happen to be inside?! Can you imagine their reaction to a sign that reads “library/salon/bookstore/ restaurant closed because it’s JUST SO NICE OUT TODAY!” They would flip. Please don’t be one of those people.)
Anyway, rainy, windy, blustery days don’t hold the same level of expectation and I live for these days, I always have. I do like going outside, but I don’t really much care for the sun. Or perhaps it’s that the sun doesn’t really care for me. I burn. I sweat. I can’t seem to find sunglasses that work well enough so I continue to squint. Insects are drawn to me. It’s exhausting.
I am an indoors kind of person, I guess. I like to read, I like to cook, I like to watch TV and movies, and I like to clean and organize things like drawers and cupboards and the attic, things like that. And often if you spend a sunny day telling people that’s what you’ve been up to they become slightly to massively offended, as if you wasting (their words) a glorious sunny day by staying indoors is a personal attack. So I used to pretend, I honestly did. The beach? Oh my god I LOVE THE BEACH! A picnic? Absolutely what could be better than eating food on the grass in a public park? An outdoor music festival? Oh I am so down to spend 19 hours in a massive crowd, dehydrated and unable to tell who exactly is even onstage, let’s go!
I…might be exaggerating a little bit, but still. The sunny day p r e s s u r e is real.
In the before, a day like today, one where I don’t have to leave the house even to go to WORK would have been my dream. I am productive on rainy days. I dive into projects, I read entire books, I organize down to Inbox zero. I am a machine. Except now? I’m not.
Now I see these high, potentially catastrophic winds as a sign that the world really is in some kind of weird trouble, some apocalyptic limbo. I imagine the rains and the possible flooding in some areas as a kind of warning. I mean yes, climate change is real and a lot of extreme weather acts – or should act – as a warning to get that shit under control. But now, as the kids say, it hits different.
There is an electricity-like hum of stress that exists under everything now, a tight wire of tension. You probably feel it too. Extreme weather just adds to this tension. We’re going through so much, can’t we just have some nice, quiet, sunny days until we’re through the pandemic days? Is it too much to ask? Um yeah bitch, it is, says Mother Nature (or climate scientists if you want the real talk.)
For me it’s a completely new way of looking at the days as they unfold. Sun in the forecast? Great, nothing to worry about, relax and look at everyone out and about staying 6′ away from each other, yes, yes, nothing odd about that, nothing to see here it’s all ok. Rain and wind? We’re doomed. Such a complete turnaround for me, but that’s about where I’m at these days. So little makes sense right now and if sunny days give me (and possibly you) a false sense of security, I’m more than happy to live in that sunshiny little bubble for as long as it takes.
But maybe ask me again in August when the sun is baking down and it’s 39C. Provided the pandemic is history, you’ll probably find your girl back inside cursing the obnoxious yellow orb and trawling the Weather Network site for signs of rain. Let’s hope so, anyway.