If the weatherperson’s report on the radio or TV is anything to go by, you’d think that the only days worth having are sunny and warm. They apologize when forecasting rain or snow, they rattle on excitedly when it’s going to be clear or unseasonably mild. You don’t have to look far to see that our society seems to consider Summer the best time of year and anything else is just something to be tolerated until it comes around again.
Now, I may have struggled most of my adult life to live in the present and take each day as a gift. But when it comes to the weather I have long been a fan of the four seasons. I honestly enjoy each one, and by the time one is over I am usually tired of it and looking forward to a change.
Here in southwestern BC (known to our southern neighbours as the Pacific Northwest), winter is relatively mild. It is also very wet. A typical day between October and January is cool, dark with heavy low-lying clouds, and somewhere between about-to-rain, drizzling, and a total downpour that can last for days. For those who are not used to this weather (and for many who have been here for years) it can be hard to take. But I figure since I was born and raised here that might explain why I find it quite bearable and even enjoyable.
I think alot of it has to do with the fact that I am free to stay indoors when the weather turns “cozy”, and I enjoy an excuse to tidy, organize, bake, and cook. There is something about our grey days that make me feel as though a giant down comforter is covering the city, and it’s time to stay in and be cozy. I love having our gas fireplace bringing a cheerful glow to the living room, and the smell of soup simmering on the stove. I love hot meals with winter vegetables and spicy accents. And while a sunny day is a treat to be savoured with a walk in the woods or a good long run, I also enjoy running in the rain and smelling the forest when it is damp.
I have an indoor hydroponic system, the AeroGarden, that I used to grow herbs this past spring. I eventually planted them in a box and it’s been sitting empty ever since. A friend mentioned that I could grow salad greens and enjoy salad throughout the winter. And you know what? The idea just doesn’t appeal to me. After spending the spring and summer eating seasonally I came to feel that my body craves the foods that are available (for the most part; I’m enjoying a delicious mandarin orange as I write!). I learned that spring is salad season and we indulged in our home-grown greens several times a week throughout June and July. I’m not craving salads now. I’m wanting squash and chard and potatoes. I’m wanting braised chicken with onions and dried fruits, pork sausages with beans and stewed tomatoes, and hearty soups like borscht and butternut squash bisque.
And it seemed to me that eating seasonally is just one more aspect of savouring the seasons and enjoying them for what each one brings. So here’s to fall and the approaching winter (skiing, skating, and knitted hats, oh my!). May we see the goodness in each part of Nature’s cycle, and thank the weatherperson for every forecast!