Today it is raining and the sky is grey.
If I still lived in Scotland, this would not be worth noting. Yes, British people are obsessed with the weather, it’s true. We live on an island in the middle of a blustery ocean so it is in our cultural DNA to be acutely attuned to the weather. Even so, in Scotland in November some standard rainfall and a dull grey sky would not be worth conversing about. It’s notable here because this is my first murky, rainy day since I arrived in America three weeks ago.
Last weekend, I was so warm that I felt a bit too toasty just wearing one layer. On a daily basis here I am just wearing two layers. In November. Back in Scotland, by now I would be wearing at least three layers and possibly even thermal leggings underneath my jeans plus hat, scarf and gloves. I would be trundling back and forwards on the school run (a half hour walk each way) with my face being battered by the wind, ice crystals forming in my lungs with every gulp of breath and an ice cream headache caused by freezing, lashing rain.
Suffice to say, I am not missing the late Autumn-Winter weather in Scotland. We lived on the West Coast of Scotland and I found the winters there to be hard. The light levels move from pitch black to grey murk to dusk and back to pitch black again; it rain relentlessly; any snow that falls melts into grubby slush and then into a hard layer of ice that makes walking precarious; did I mention it rains relentlessly already? Biblical deluges.
So even though it is definitely chillier today and I could do with popping a cardigan on and even though the warm glow of the Autumn light has been replaced by a steely winter sky for today and even though it is actually raining during the day for the first time since my arrival, I can’t resent it because I know I could be experiencing far worse right now.
Of course, I’ve yet to experience my first Pennsylvanian Winter….