To live in a season-less climate for four months has been a new experience for me. I have never spent more than a week in a temperate climate. To live in one, where every day is the same and it is always nice allows me to float in a timeless nether world. I was born in Buffalo, New York where the seasons are clearly delineated, with four very distinct emotional milieus for each. Weather, seasons, and times of the year possess distinct personalities in Buffalo. Winter is winter, it feels like winter, and it feels like December and January and February. There will be snow. It will need to be shoveled. It will feel good to enter the house and stomp my feet. It gets dark early in the evening. To leave the house there is a ritual of putting on boots and coats and hats and gloves and scarves.
In Nairobi every day has been blue sky beautiful, a constant 75-80 degrees, with a constant 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. January felt like February. February felt like March. April feels the same. It has rained, and rained hard, and then it has been beautiful again. I am in a heavenly weather limbo. It’s Easter, but the weather doesn’t help me to feel like it’s Easter. I live in an endless Buffalo summer.
If I lived here longer I know I would feel the distinct differences throughout the year, but without a blizzard or a cool fall day with the leaves falling, I do not possess the correct sensitivities to measure the gradations. I don’t need to check the weather forecast. It will be nice, and if it rains, the rain will stop. Life is so easy in Kenya.
But I have noticed two things, amateur gardener that I am. There is a giant geranium in front of my house. It is like a shrub. I did not know a geranium could grow so large. In January it was fully flowering, and then all the flowers died and I dead-headed the plant in February. It is in full flower again. That’s interesting. The cycle of flowering is short and compact and constant.
There is a small tree out my back window. In January it had no leaves. In February beautiful dark red leaves sprouted. It is now a beautiful crimson tree. There is no pure autumn here, and I would imagine 90% of the trees keep their leaves all year. But this tree will drop its leaves, not in a Buffalo autumn, but in a Nairobi December months from now, on a 75-80 degree day, and the cycle will begin again.
The seasons help clarify the passage of time for me. The seasons talk to me, and I love to listen. I am seasonal. I would feel unmoored floating in Nairobi ease for years and years on end with no changes to help me move through time. The same would be true in Los Angeles.
Or would I? Would I get used to this glorious endless summer, where Easter feels like Memorial Day feels like Labor Day feels like Christmas?