Tomorrow is the official beginning of spring. Try telling that to the folks back East who are expecting snow. Friends back in the old country ask me whether I miss the change of seasons. If what they mean by that question is do I miss the freezing days of winter changing into the rainy days of spring changing into the hot humid days of summer changing into the leaf dropping days of autumn, the simple answer is, “NO.” A longer but more emphatic response is , “HELL NO.”
Of course, relief from pain can be exhilarating. When the slush and ice eventually melt, and they can put away their winter coats, naturally the folks back East become delirious with that first sunny spring day, and after the rainy season begins in April, and they realize their outdoor barbecues are premature, sure there is joy when that first truly warm summer day dries out their moist bones.
And after the mosquitoes suck them dry and their shirts stick to their skin with all that humidity, oh yes, there is nothing so glorious for East Coasters as that first crisp autumn day. And after the winds blow the very last leaf off of every tree by November, and the ground is thick with decaying vegetation, and the hurricanes blow them every which way, even the first day of winter seems appealing to an Easterner.
I understand the concept of no gain without pain, or as Herman Melville said so much more eloquently, “Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast,” but I don’t subscribe to this theory. Perhaps I am a heathen, but I prefer joy without first experiencing pain. In other words, I can tolerate 365 days a year of perfect weather.
We do experience the changes of season here in Southern California, although admittedly the changes are modest. Our winters occasionally experience a mild drizzle which we call the rainy season. Spring comes here in February and the desert is filled with buds and blossoms. Summer heat in Malibu means the temperatures rise mightily into the high 70’s or low 80’s and fall temperatures drop a few degrees, and we are caressed with a temperate breeze.
These are exactly the changes of seasons I can tolerate.