I love it when life is dictated by weather

I love it when life is dictated by weather.

The first time I had that thought I was in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was 19. My brother Alexander and I had been  traveling  in Vietnam for a few weeks. I had just spent 5 months in China. It was my semester abroad. In China, I had felt like a freak. My hair was cropped very short, and was a somewhat natural shade of orange. I was stared out no matter how much I tried to cover myself up. Even when I was eating noodles. But, in Vietnam, I felt anonymous. Hanoi was an exciting & beautiful city. I loved the energy of the bicycles and motor cars of every variety, the wide streets. I loved the coffee and the baguettes. I loved the bright colors of the fans, the plastics and the ao dais. But what I loved most especially was the way people responded to the weather. The mornings were hot and humid. But then, every afternoon, after lunch, a heavy rain would come. At that moment, as if they knew exactly the time it would rain, all the shopkeepers would crank out their awnings and the shops would bring their wares inside. Umbrellas of every pattern imaginably started popping open everywhere. And then, suddenly the streets were empty and all the people were sitting at cafés or standing under awnings.  It was amazing to me how rapidly the people responded to the sudden downpour. And then in less than an hour, everything was back to sunshine as if the rain had never happened.

I have come back to this memory often. And I imagine I might have exaggerated it quite a bit in my mind. I return over and over to the idea of how extreme weather unites us. And when we get used to it even more, we build our lives around it. A change in weather returns us into the present moment—it awakens us to nature, and reminds us how we never apart from it. It’s a little bit of a secret from my husband, but I admit there is a part of me that gets excited by crazy weather.

Tomorrow, we are expecting a hurricane. Her name is Blanca. We’ve been hearing about her for a week now. She is a changeable one. She has threatened to be a category 4, and then back to a 1, then a tropical storm. Our cell and internet service is down right now, so we don’t know the latest. Lucas spent all week preparing for it. We had four of our roofs blow off in Odile last September, and just a few weeks ago, had them all repaired. Our house has always leaked badly, but everything’s been fixed, so let’s see how we fare this time. I wish I could sent this out today, but it probably won’t go out until tomorrow.

Facebook update:

Even though I had a few moments of doubt about my decision, my first day away from Facebook has felt considerably less angsty. I feel more engaged with my present life. That also might be because I spent the entire day preparing for the hurricane. Washing dishes, cleaning out the refrigerator, making sandwiches, making space in our bodega for a place for us to sleep (as our bedroom is still not weather proof at all—there are no doors and windows yet, but they are coming soon.) Another surprise about leaving Facebook is quite a few people have congratulated me. To me that is a sign that other people may have similar feelings about Facebook.