Today is definitely a day for kite-surfers, judging by the gales buffeting the coastal reaches. As I walked back from town, and – quite literally – got blown around in a circle by a rambunctious squall, I got to thinking…
I grew up in the Western Cape where the ‘Cape Doctor’ – a particularly fierce South Easter – would regularly be the bane of my life. This wind blows for weeks at a time. It is relentless! Believe me, when you have flyaway hair like mine, you really want to live somewhere wind-free!
But since there is no such thing as bad weather(only the wrong clothes and no hat) – I learnt to love the wind when I began messing around on boats. A steady breeze is as good for the soul as it is for the sail. I’ve been out on the water in light airs that stroke your cheek, and gale force winds that rip across your face like sandpaper. Somehow pitting yourself against nature makes you feel more alive than fearful. Besides, the wind always blows something good your way.
It’s been a surreal few weeks. Work has taken me from Stockholm, to Amsterdam and Paris…via Wales and London. On Monday – as a deranged (and I mean batsh*t crazy!!) Parisian cabbie drove me from La Defense to Gare du Nord – I had the luxury of sitting back and absorbing the scenery. As regular readers will know, Paris is one of my favourite cities – not least for the food, the art, and the fine underwear available for purchase at Galleries Lafayette!
On this day however, I was marvelling at the weather. It’s February, and although days are lengthening in the Northern Hemisphere, blasts of winter ire still rain down in the coastal reaches! But in Paris, it was a balmy Spring! As I crossed the Seine, Winter light illuminated the architraves of this elegant city…Life felt good!
This got me thinking…are human beings conditioned by climate? I blame my hot temper on the fact that I have Irish, South African and Italian blood running through my veins. But perhaps I am a fraud? Perhaps the climate in which I find myself determines my mood? My true love is for Winter – log fires, red wine and convivial evenings with friends. And yes, while I am drawn to Summer – I really do hate the heat – freckles and humidity – Eeuww! Autumn is good because you can be melancholy with justifiable reason – and you get berries, apples and pumpkins as harvest! But at the same time, Spring means fresh starts and renewed vigour as nature (and life) bring hope with longer days. In my language we often describe people as ‘being in their element’ – meaning they are happy in that particular space, place and time.
Forget about personality type, culture, or class – perhaps people have a season… What’s your element?