When we visited Atlanta for our ‘look see’ visit, we came in January. Winter. It couldn’t have been more grim, grey skies, trees with no leaves, brown grass (sleeping over the winter months it turns out), freezing temperatures, especially as we had come from the warm Durban sun. 30 degrees celsius to 30 degrees fahrenheit in a day. It was the worst possible time to visit and the best possible time, we saw it at its worst, it could only get better.
When we arrived to live here it was mid Summer – hot, steamy, green, flowers, lots of leaves on all the trees. It was very pretty and it was the best time to arrive. As the weather turned to what I call Autumn I got a good understanding of why the North Americans call it Fall. The leaves fell and fell and fell – and fell. The leaf blowers were out in full force for many weeks and we spent more than one weekend in our garden raking and stuffing bags full of them.
The winter was grim, for more than one reason, grey, sometimes wet, grey, always cold, grey and overall dreary. To be fair it’s the first place we’ve lived that has had a ‘real’ kind of winter, with apologies to those still snowed in further north. Sydney, Hong Kong and Durban have the season in name – but the weather is borderline and mild in comparison to the winter we have just experienced.
I am a self diagnosed SAD sufferer. I crave sunshine and light. My favourite rooms in our house have huge windows and allow lots of light and sunshine in when it exists. If a day has sunshine it can change my mood completely. I feel happier, more optimistic, almost the same way I feel after a strenuous exercise session – the endorphins seem to appear without effort. I LOVE sunshine. Durban will always be a special place for me, given it has an average of 320 days of sunshine a year. Atlanta apparently has 180 days of the same stuff, I have felt the loss of those 140 days these last eight months.
I must have posted 3,453 complaints on facebook, twitter and Instagram about the awfully chilly winter and how it never seemed to end. Those in the know told me – wait for the Spring, its beautiful and the sun will return.
I suppose its true, you can’t appreciate the Spring if you don’t have the Winter.
Today, March 20th is the first official day of Spring and the last couple of weeks have tantalised me with many lovely days, more than a few glimpses of sunshine and the most glorious flowering trees everywhere (luckily we are not a pollen suffering household).
I am declaring so far so good as I look out the window at a sunny sky and new growth everywhere – even the grass is changing colour before our eyes.
My eyes will stay closed when looking at the forecast for the rest of the week – rain and cooler weather on the way. I hold on to the fact these days will be less and soon all I will see is flowering trees, more flowers, green grass and sunshine, sunshine, sunshine…..until I start complaining about the heat of summer. After all its called Hotlanta for a reason.