When I woke up today and walked towards the balcony, I had a pleasant surprise. It had snowed overnight and the cars and the valley that can be seen from our balcony was covered with a pristine layer of white. We have had snow before, but I still felt a sense of wonderment. When it snows, the air and the light feel pure in a way that is hard to accurately describe.
I began to think a little about this and realized that it was not the snow itself that made me feel this way but the fact of seeing the familiar everyday places around me transformed in a way that feels a little magical. Granted that for many who live in these parts of the world this is not the most noteworthy thing.
Back in India where I have lived almost the entirety of my life so far what we experience weather wise can vary hugely depending on which part of the country you call home. We had distinct summers, monsoons, and winters but the city Pune where I used to stay didn't really transform visually from one season to the other in any dramatic fashion. The road became much worse to drive on in the monsoon but that is a topic too tiring to touch upon.
However, if we had been staying up north in a place like Kashmir, I would have experienced a lot of what I experience here. Snow is not a regular thing when the winters begin but for me those days are much more pleasant than the normal winter days even if snowy days mean lower temperatures. The one thing people in tropical countries take for granted is the abundance of sunshine and the stable day lengths.
Because we arrived in Prague in the month of April last year, we hadn't yet experienced a true European winter. It was still cold, but the days were as normal as back home. The months of May and June were absolutely the best. If there was such a thing as perfect weather this would be the time that I felt this. Temperatures hovering in between the 15 -20 degree Celsius range all the time.
The real surprise was in the summers, which are primarily the months of July and August, when the sun sometimes began to set at 9PM. Though pleasant to experience, if you come from a tropical country, it can be hard to fully accept something like this. The world you know can begin to feel a little bit warped. Also, because the houses here do not feature ceiling fans, it was a challenge on the days when it hit 38 C. Even though I only used it for a few days I had to scramble to get a standing fan, something I thought I would never need here.
September and October cover the fall season where it has begun to get colder but still pleasant enough to be outdoors if you wished. The nicest part of fall was the leaves of many trees turning red which is another magical visual switch that unfortunately lasted much less than I wished.
Alas all good things must end. That end began with the month of November where the transition to days where the sun begins to set at 4PM came to a despairingly quick start. Combined with the chilly weather, dark, cloudy skies these days were the worst we felt in terms of the mood. We missed home for the food, friends and family but in those months also for the year-round sunshine we almost take for granted.
Luckily, we had a trip planned for back home for a couple of months, so we escaped the worst of the winter and by the time we were back we were ready to escape the heat from back home. I think back about an ideal living situation, and this could be it. The travel can take a toll on you but if we got the beam me up technology from Star Trek this is the way I would love to have it.
Weather is such a core element of people's lives and it's easy to curse or remark about fine weather no matter where most people live. The world was built upon balance. You choose and make peace with where you were born, or you move and make peace with your new home. It is the only thing we can control. The weather will be what it wants to be.