Today, just as I got out on to the sand and experienced this feeling, a friend called from Portland, Maine, where I was living just two-and-a-half months ago. He was packing up at his office to rush home, because the third major snow storm in just a few weeks was about to wallop the Pine Tree State yet again.
The weather has been such an interesting point of communication for me since I landed in San Diego back on December 2nd. My body system is still set to my old Maine/New Hampshire/Boston/New York City expectations. So when I walk outside, and it's 62 degrees and sunny in February, I quickly think to myself something like: "WOOO-HOOOO! It's summer in wintertime! I am the luckiest person on Earth!" But most long-time San Diegans seem to have body systems which expect no colder than 70 degrees. So many of them have been trying unsuccessfully to commiserate with me about this "awful cold weather" we've been having this "winter." The response that usually pops into my mind is something like "What? What cold? What are you talking about? Where were you this morning, Vancouver?"
On the flipside, when I talk to my friends and family back east, I tell them I just came back from the beach, dressed in just a T-shirt and cotton long-sleeve shirt over it, and actually felt a little hot. They respond with jovial comments like, "Oh, how rough for you," and "Must be a tough life out there for you, 62 degrees and sunny...we got two-and-a-half feet of snow yesterday!" I feel like I shouldn't tell them how warm it is here, but at the same time I am enjoying it so damn much, that most times I can't help myself. And then I feel a bit bad, because I feel like I made them jealous, even in some small way.
I used to really hate and loathe the cold winter weather...the snow, the ice, the freezing temperatures. Certain people back east used to talk to me how wonderful the seasons were, what a gift from Nature they were, how beautiful and elegant they were, both visually and how they so naturally and effortlessly unfolded, one to the next.
Usually I would want to tell such folks to promptly go to hell, and that I would quite happily stick their "appreciation of the four seasons" right in my frozen behind. But as the years went on, I don't know...something changed in me. Even though the cold weather still felt physically uncomfortable - even painful at times - (I swear if you put something like "Were you wearing a thick-enough coat?" in the comments, you will face my reprisal!) I definitely did come to see the elegance of Nature in those four seasons.
I could appreciate how beautiful newly-fallen snow looked on the tall, evergreen trees and formerly-grassy fields, how pretty icicles hanging from a rooftop were. I could watch a group of children sledding down a snowy hill and tossing snowballs at each other while laughing, and feel gratitude and appreciation for the little miracles of Life that surround me every day.
So now I live where there is no such thing as snow or ice, and folks complain about the "cold" when it's 62. I'm sure like all things in my life, this big shift in the landscape and temperatures will affect my music. After a necessary but temporary break, I am back to creating music here now, and enjoying it again as I always have. Will there be songs about the warm February sun? I don't know. Maybe. We'll see, I suppose.
Do I miss the winter in the Northeast? Yes, I guess a little bit. I must admit it. But I'm also very happy where I am, and grateful that I can walk down to the beach in just a shirt and jeans, and enjoy the ocean waves crashing against the sand, in the middle of February.