I actually DID yell last night. Not at someone else-I was all alone in the car. I yelled out of joy and excitement and relief and just because I could. And then I cried. Tears of joy and excitement and relief and gratefulness rolled down my cheeks. So many things went into all the emotion behind the yelling and the tears. It seems strange something so small, so tiny could bring up so much emotion in me. After the year we’ve had I’ve needed times of release and last night, all alone in the car, I chose to let something some people despise propel me towards peace and a renewed appreciation for being in the US.
I spent the first year we were in Asia despising the weather. Our seasons are only separated by how much it rains and not a difference in temperature or what kind of precipitation we have. The most severe weather that we can experience is strong thunderstorms. We almost never check weather reports because it’s going to be the same as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow with the exception of how much rain we’ll get in a day. That’s the only variable. After living most of my 31 years in a four-seasons climate (I lived in southern California as a child, but even there the temperatures dipped a little in the winter) it took a while to wrap my head around not having seasons, around the fact that I have no need to own or wear long pants and long sleeves and shoes that actually cover my feet.
But over time God showed me the beautiful things that come with living in that climate. Monkeys run wild where we live. The botanic garden is essentially a rain forest and the trees and flowers there are unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else. During monsoon season we get a lot of rain, but it’s hot and we take advantage of that by running around outside in our rain coats. Yes, our neighbors look at us like we’re crazy. I’m okay with that. It doesn’t take an extra 15 minutes to get out the door due to putting on socks, tying shoes, and bundling up against the cold. Trying to remember how long skin can be exposed to the temperature outside before frostbite starts hasn’t crossed my mind in years. It took me a while, but I finally warmed up to a one-season climate and miss things about it.
I also want to appreciate the climate here. When the weather was warmer we were spending as much time outside as we could. Being able to go outside without sweating was such a novelty to our family. Deer, turtles, squirrels, chipmunks, butterflies, bugs, and beautiful birds have come across our path while we’ve been back. The amazing colors on the fall leaves reminded me why I love the change of seasons so much, the old going away and the new coming in. God made our world to have seasons, some places it’s more subtle than others. I want to try to appreciate the whole world for what is and know that God put me in each place for a reason and a time.
Right now it’s COLD outside. And when it’s cold the precipitation is a little more frozen. Last night as I left a friend’s house I noticed little, tiny, white flakes falling from the sky. I must have said “It’s Snowing!” a dozen times until I was yelling
incredibly loud. Something so small, despised by some and loved by others, brought up so many emotions in me. Emotions poured out, tears rolled down, and God drove down that road with me with snow swirling around soaking it all in with me.