When I went to the Caribbean I loved the heat, the lovely heat. I felt like my poor soul was shrivelled up deep inside my body - hugging onto my backbone perhaps - by the cold of the Canadian winter and it blossomed outwards extending far beyond the perimeters of my body when it met the sultry delicious heat of the south. I loved the smells, the burning fires, the spicy tang of the banana blossoms, the undercurrent of marijuanna and bad plumbing even. I loved the relentless green of the jungle and the surprising amount of strange and wonderful birds. I loved the water - turquoise and warm with colourful fish dancing by my delighted white hued body.
There was one thing I didn't like in this paradise and it is the thing that makes all the rest possible so it is perverse to dislike it. Yet I did. That is the regularity of the days - the length, the afternoon showers. When the air is warm I want to stay up late and get all that light but the glorious sun dove into the sea far too soon. And it didn't rise as early as I would want either.
Now the days are getting short and I bemoan it but I realize it is part of my dna. In Scotland in medeival times, my ancestors gathered around the peat stove and told stories long into the night to keep the ghosties away. They found the last bits of potatoes and stuck them on sticks and into the fire until the flesh was flakey hot and good. They had spent the autumn gathering and preparing food to last them through the long cold spell. In Jamaica and Cuba when they laugh at you for wanting something today it is because it will be fine tomorrow and the next day and the next. No need for urgency.
This morning I looked at my blog header and went - oh, oh - time to get rid of the beautiful boat on the beach and put something golden and obviously from this time. I brought up the basket of mittens and one zillion hats the other day - even though I had thought fleetingly a week ago that I might get another month or so out of wearing my sandals. The chicken coop is cleaned out and a deep deep layer of clean shavings put down - it won't be cleaned again til spring - just sprinkled with diatamaceous earth now and then and turned over. As it decays it will help heat the wee chook house.
I want to look at my next book and see how I attack the seasons. The Rock Walker took place in a week in August. This one starts in mid-October because that is when I started it. I have to look at what is growing in the gardens at that time - what the weather is likely to be. And what the urgency is deep in the hearts of all us northern people to make ready for the dark cold days. For those of you who write how does the change of seasons (or lack of) affect your writing? And for those of you who are readers - do you like dipping into the unknown of a different environment or would you rather read about places that are more alike to yours?
And I wouldn't trade it for one season! Maybe just a trip every year for a month during February and March when I'm truly done with the cold!