Metro, Column

Endlessly Changing Weather

Last December, a few days after Christmas, my mom and I decided we wanted to go for a bike ride on the beach.

“Check the weather,” she said. “If it’s nice out tomorrow, we’ll go in the morning.”

And I laughed.

“Mom,” I said, “we live in Los Angeles. I can give you the weather report: it’s going to be 70-something and sunny, with a nice breeze.” Sure enough, we got exactly that.

Call me clairvoyant. Or crazy, I suppose, for giving up 70-degree weather in December to come to school in Boston. Just let me explain myself first.

There’s a tree outside my dorm room that’s almost all a crisp shade of green-still dressed for summer, or so it seems. Tearing through the greenery like a fire truck rushing down the street is a bold streak of pure red, a defiant banner proclaiming that fall is just around the corner.
And I can’t wait for it.

Some streets in L.A., like the one my grandparents live on, are lucky enough to have magic color-changing trees along their sidewalks. The one I live on has magnolia trees, which are rather pretty, but those don’t put on hats made of fire like their classy East Coast cousins do every October. The seasons, to Los Angeles and its trees, are old-fashioned things you read about in books like Walden.

Winter hardly exists in L.A., but in Boston, of course, it’s all anyone can talk about when they mention weather.

I can’t sit still if it’s snowing outside. I’m like a puppy frantically barking at the mailman to scare him off, despite the fact that he’s on the other side of the window. I like going outside and catching snowflakes on my gloves, finding the biggest ones, and scrutinizing them up close to check that they do in fact look like those lacy paper ones you make in elementary school art classes. I hate walking to class when it’s snowing sideways, but there’s nothing like looking out the window in the morning and seeing the sunlight bounce off of a fresh, almost pristine coat of snow that floated down overnight.

Sometimes I do miss the steady SoCal sunshine I grew up with. When it’s still snowing in the middle of March and you can’t remember the last time you felt warm outdoors, a not-so-white Christmas doesn’t sound half bad. When it’s pushing 90 one day and in the mid-50s the next, I roll my eyes at the fickleness of New England weather. “Come on,” I want to say to the sky, “make up your mind already. What season is it?”

I’ve noticed that this question never, ever has a straight answer.

In my years at BC, I’ve seen a hurricane and a blizzard hit campus. I’ve experienced that awful mix of snow, rain, and who knows what else that people out here call a “wintry mix.” I’ve yet to go through my first ice storm, which my family in Worcester tells me is a miserable experience made worth it only by the fact that trees turn into ice sculptures. There will never be two years of identical falls, winters, springs, or even summers out here, and that’s what I love about it.

I’ll still cringe the first day that I see the temperature dip below 40 degrees this year-just seeing that it’s in the 30s is enough to make me feel cold. But I knew, to some extent, that this is what I signed up for when I decided to go to BC. Okay, so I tend to put on more layers than most other people here and start wearing gloves in October. I stick out like the palm tree that I am in this land of actual weather.

As the days get chillier and the tree outside my window continues to slowly shed its summer skin, however, I’m reminded of how amazing it is to really see the seasons. That’s one thing that will always be the same.


September 18, 2013