So here we are. An early winter, the worst week of rain for decades followed by the earliest snow for some time.
We have seen blue sky maybe three times in the last month.
I have seen the sun once in the last two weeks.
As a New Zealander this is foreign territory.
This is the start of the winter. I asked someone, somewhat jokingly, the other day if I would see the sun before march. They, somewhat seriously. indicated ‘maybe not’.
So, does it matter whether the weather is ‘just like home’?
Well, i think it does, certainly overall we have underestimated the culture shock part of this. We knew it was cold and a little grey, but hadn’t considered what this meant for lifestyle. We just aren’t of the mind to exercise indoors, even in Wellington’s worst weather I would head out.
We now need different strategies. What do do, how to do it, where, with whom.
We don’t have the equipment or the mentality for it presently.
Skiing is fine but in Antwerp the best inclines are usually from the edge of the motorway on to it. The elevation on my drive to work varies to a maximum height of 25 metres – and that is a 30km plus commute.
So does it matter that it might be a fake slope, or an indoor tennis court, or a swimming pool or indoor playland. Well, no and yes. Kiwi’s are just not accustomed to this, well certainly not these Kiwi’s – granted with the exception of the swimming pool (but even there the Porrirua pool competes well with the best we have found 20kms away at 6 times the price!).
So now I even see Wellington’s weather in a different light and understand how it can be ranked so highly by tourists despite its climate (to which many Europeans would say ‘because of it’s climate’).
So metaphorically and physically we continue through a storm which varies in intensity. Which cleanses, purges, dirties, flushes away, replenishes and hopefully one day will leave us with fresh and blue skies a warm breeze and sunlight to guide us.
It is not a case of whether or when – with sureness it will. But just how long is the season? Will it be as in tune with the weather as it is presently? I hope not.
I’m hoping our joy will not depend on whether the weather turns and when. That we can set right our own internal season, shine on ourselves, each other, and those around us.
What I do know is if this is to be so, then we cannot wait for solar power, it will all come from inner reserves and the warmth of our family, our families, our friends and the community in which we now are immersed and yet invisible.
Let your sun shine.