April 23, 2005

Let it rain

We've just had a couple of weeks of really incredible weather. Sunny, cool, gorgeous weather. Since I live in a climate that is often cloudy, in a place that gets a whole lot of precipitation, this kind of weather is unusual. And it's made me a little uncomfortable.

When I get a sunny day, I feel like I have to take advantage of it. A perfect day is accompanied by this sense of urgency. We don't get that many sunny days; I can't afford to miss a single one. My students, who are mostly from this state since we are a state school, feel the same way. It seems wrong to stay indoors and do work when the sun is shining. I had class outside on the quad all last week, something that normally only happens once or twice in the semester. And everyone knows that you can't get as much done outside, but it just seemed wrong to be indoors when the weather was so terrific.

By Friday, my students were beginning to feel a little desperate. "How are we going to get all of our work done if the weather stays like this?" Even KayakMan, who heads up north every weekend to run the rivers, which are flowing fast this time of year, and FishingStudent, who loves those early mornings on the river, and TurkeyHunter, who is awaiting the May 1 opening of the season, were beginning to worry about the consequences of all this playing in the sun. "What do people do who live in climates where the weather is always like this?" one student asked. We all just looked at each other. How do they ever get anything done?

But today I woke up to a grey, rainy day. Perfect for staying in and writing that book review that is due next week. Perfect for e-mailing my colleagues about that fall conference and rewriting that abstract. The temperatures have dropped; my mother said they are even predicting some snow.

And it's a relief. I am used to these cloudy skies. Now, my students will get their work done; they will get to graduate after all. Maybe I'll meet those May 1 deadlines. Maybe I'll even get caught up grading papers.

Let the sunny weather come in July, when I'm camping with the family. Right now, we need the rain.

11 comments:

Nels said...

The rain is perfect today, isn't it? I'm almost done with today's grading! And it actually is beautiful to watch. Though having to take the dog out in a few minutes will not be fun, but we'll get over it.

PPB said...

I'm getting boatloads done today, too. I was feeling guilty for enjoying it so much, but I won't anymore!

Dr. H said...

Speaking from previous experience, people who live with eternal sunshine don't feel a sense of urgency to take advantage of it. It will still be there tomorrow.

Laura said...

Your school and your students sound so cool.

Ianqui said...

This is how I feel about living in New York. I mean, it's not about the weather, but sometimes I wonder how I can get any work done living in New York. There's always something more exciting that I could possibly be doing!

What Now? said...

Just chiming in to agree with Dr. H. When the sun shines all the time, you can relax in the knowledge that tomorrow will be sunny too, so it's okay to spend today in the library. I've heard folks from other parts of the country say that it would be awful to live where it's always beautiful and sunny, but this line of thinking never made any sense to me; but now I see that perhaps they're thinking about the way they view sunshine (drop everything, get outside, and enjoy it now with a kind of desperation since it could go away again at any moment) and imagining feeling that way all the time, which would be rather exhausting and lead one to not get any work done. But the lands of perpetual sunshine really don't operate that way.

I no longer live in the land of perpetual sunshine, and I really do miss it; I'm fine with snow and rain and other types of precipitation, but whenever there's an absolutely gorgeous day, I remember with some sad nostalgia that there was a time in my life when almost every day was that beautiful.

jo(e) said...

Of course, if I lived in a place where it was sunny all the time, I would miss the rain. In the warmer weather, I really love hiking in the rain, or walking on the beach in the rain, or canoeing in a misty rain. I do like the world all soft and wet rather than bright and glaring.

Dr. H said...

oh, it is totally true that people freak out a little in the lands of perpetual sunshine when it rains -- lots more car accidents, running outside and jumping around in the puddles, taking pictures of storm clouds as if they won't ever be seen again. Monsoon season in the desert is spectacular for a time of reawakening.

Rana said...

Chiming in with the sunny-lands chorus...

One funny revelation I had while living in the Midwest was that there is a reason why people from other parts of the country tend to think of California as the land of "fruits, nuts, and flakes" (as one commenter once put it). It's this: people act like such goofballs elsewhere when nice, non-humid sunny weather comes by -- they play hooky from work, run about in tiny clothes, get all giddy, etc. -- so I believe that they project this onto Californians.

The sad truth is that no employer will be forgiving if you take off a "sun day" so it's not like anything special happens when a particularly nice day rolls around. Nor is the mania widespread; one or two people in a company may be revelling in the weather (because they have a weekend picnic or hiking trip planned, for example) but it's not like what I saw when virtually the entire campus, from students to faculty and staff, blew off work.

Moreena said...

We were driving to swim lessons (indoor) last week on one of those amazingly beautiful spring days and I swear the girls and I were nearly giddy with excitement. Now maybe the girls would be that giddy all the time with all those endless beautiful days, but I firmly believe that that particular adult euphoria is reserved for those that suffer through all those dark winter days.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Laughing with recognition, jo(e). I get completely panicky if I'm not outside taking advantage of nice weather, because deep in my (hardy northeastern) soul is the belief that A Nice Day may not come again for months.