This morning I woke up and it was cold outside, lovely lovely cold, deliciously cloudy and very cold. It was 7:15 a.m. but I was elated, absolutely overjoyed, at the prospect of the whole day being long and dark and gray. I know every person in the Northwest and probably Alaska too just gasped at THE AUDACITY of a statement like this. How dare you wish the sun away! Well, you know what, if you lived in a perpetual summer, were sweating on Halloween, and your Mom had to send you fall leaves in the mail because God knows we aren't getting any down here, you would be at least a teeny bit excited about a cloudy day too. It's hard out here for a transplant. I haven't been able to wear real sleeves in six months. I'm sick of maintaining a summer-ready body, I would really appreciate the opportunity to gain a winter layer. I'm tired of replacing all the sunglasses I keep breaking. I like close-toed shoes. I hate shaving my legs. The list goes on and on.
Really I just miss home. You can't deny me my roots--my life, up until a few years ago, has played out to the soundtrack of rain on the roof. Overcast skies were the backdrop of my stage for 18 years. I love the sun, I do. I love being outside on an Oregon summer day, I love the heat of a dock at the lake, I love being tan, I love laying out, I love blue skies, I even like the feeling of sweat tracing a quiet trail down the small of my back. But it isn't the sun that takes me home, it's the sound of a squelching boot. It's a car driving through standing water. This morning the cold air on campus made me think of being with my sister and my mom at Lewis and Clark one winter, we were really young. We were on a pavilion The grass today and the grass then looked the same. I'm trying to tell you my story, this weather lets me leave New Orleans for a minute. It's familiar. It's safe. It's nostalgic.
Which is funny because nostalgia, contrary to popular belief, is actually a yearning for an idealized past that never really existed. For example, Southerners after the Civil War yearning for the idyllic plantation lifestyle. Or me, wishing the 80 degree weather away so I can reclaim a hazy vision of the happiness that was mine in high school. Watch. It's going to start turning, and soon I'll be bitching with the best of them about how horrible the weather is.
But! I never said I was rational!