Thursday, September 10, 2009

Weather Report

The weather is a constant topic of conversation around here. It has to be really as it is such a factor in our lives here on an island on the edge of the Atlantic. A day can be made or lost depending on the state of the weather. "Lovely day", "Blustery day", "Fresh mornin'", "Dreadful weather" are all common greetings as you pass people along the road. If it is a lovely, fresh day you'll hear constant refrains of 'long may it last' and 'please God' and if the weather is rotten the talk is always about how it's meant to be nice again next week. A weather report in the paper or on the radio can be comical. There was once one that said, and this is absolutely the truth, something like: "sun in the east, blustery across most of the country with a slight chance for thunderstorms and gale force winds, possible chance of sleet, hail or snow".

The amazing part about this weather obsession is how quickly we all forget. Today for instance is a gorgeous, sunny and warm day (highs are probably 62 degrees F) and no one remembers that it was raining nonstop on Sunday. We are all thankful for the moment when it comes to the weather. It is truly a case of enjoy the here and now because it could be lashing from the heavens again this afternoon. The kids go by the old saying, 'red skies at night, shepherds' delight. Red skies in the morning, shepherds' warning." And it really does seem to hold true. Same goes for a terrible day like last Sunday. It has never been more miserable, wet, dreadful as it is at that time and how can we live in such a country with such weather, etc. Then the blustery wind blows the rain clouds over to Wales or into the vast Atlantic and everything is rosy again.

To that point, there is a certain mania that comes with really good summer weather. It is so fleeting yet so absolutely perfect when it is the height of a good summer here that everyone goes a bit loopy. Running around in tank tops and sundresses, fleeing to the sea and jumping into the freezing water like it's the Caribbean, and mass purchasing of barbeque meats, beer, and suncream are common side effects of a good Irish summer. There is a wonderful camaraderie in the air along with the warmth; we are all happy and smiling and hopeful, long may it last.

You know that Waterboys song that goes, 'your love feels like high, high summer'? (If not, have a listen it's a really pretty song.) Well, it used to not make sense at all to me, being from Texas where summer temperatures can reach 100+F/40+C. How could high summer be good to compare to a beautiful love? It is oppressive and miserable and gives you the horrible crotch sweat…that's what I used to think. But now I get it. High summer in Ireland or Scotland where the Waterboys are from (I think) is one of the most gorgeous and perfect things on this Earth. It is green, beyond green, and everything is in hypersharp focus, filtered through the brightest, clearest sun. There is a soft breeze to keep you cool and endless blue sky over a glass smooth sea of deep blue and shades of gray and green.

You know it will be a fine day when you can smell the sea….a salty, sharpish, smell like your true love's sweet sweat in high summer.

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