It wasn’t my first summer, nor my first autumn, winter or spring, but it was my very first time seeing all these guys arriving, developing and delivering one after the next. It was my first time seeing the seasons passing, “the trees going to sleep and waking up once more”.
Where I come from, we don’t have seasons as you are maybe used to, we have a rainy and a dry season, the first one lasting approximately 4 months and the second one 8 months. These numbers vary depending on the seasons north and south of the globe.
If you are feeling curious, I am from Colombia. The door to South America. One of the few countries surrounded by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A country which also has a couple of jungles, deserts, snowy mountains and canyons in the same unique borderline. I'm from the equator where all the sunrises are around 6am and sunsets around 6pm and that's my main reason for writing this post. I've seen the days become shorter and longer, the leaves falling and the temperature changing to the literal point of shock. It is all however accompanied with a lot of memories and the realisation that I may never get used to "the seasons"!
It was during summer last year when I moved to Ireland, the days where quite long and for me, it was nearly impossible to get any sleep as my brain was used to a full 12 hours of darkness. In the end though, I got used to enjoying those long days, having a couple of beers at night and welcoming the daylight to know the city, traveling around and making new friends. It was the perfect time for me to arrive. Everything was “manageable” and I was able to use my bike to go anywhere.
Then, without even noticing, my jet lag was “getting better”, and I was able to sleep until 6 or 7am and fall asleep at reasonable times… The days were becoming shorter, and quite similar to “my standards”.
Autumn arrived in the blink of an eye and I only noticed when I found myself dumbfounded. The trees around me were turning yellow, the beauty of the streets covered by crunchy golden leaves and the swirling wind! It was beautiful, weird, funny and also quite dangerous while riding my bike, but I loved it! Still I can remember walking the streets of Belfast; Botanic Gardens, Eglantine Avenue and along the Lagan River just to “check” on my trees, on how many yellow or green leaves they had and how rustled the streets were. Sadly it didn’t last for long. The trees started to look poor and sad, the days were becoming even shorter, and I just noticed it was winter when the automatic clocks had a different time to the manual ones… the sunset happened while I was having lunch and everything around me looked like the terror part of a Disney movie (dark, cold and kinda scary).
Winter arrived and once again I was caught unaware! It's not that I didn't know it was coming, but for sure didn’t expect the changes to be so drastic, nor did I have any idea the clocks were going to change. However, winter was here and another consequence of that is the necessity of clothes shopping. No longer were my tropical, cool t-shirts and jeans enough, I was freezing!
The solution to this problem was my first winter hat, thermal pants, a heavy winter coat but most importantly; my first ugly sweater! Winter also came with something really new and irritating to me, I had to understand the heating system. I used it constantly to keep my apartment at a reasonable temperature and also had to close all the doors and windows. This was very frustrating and almost seemed impossible to me. I love the feeling of fresh air in my home and also hate different smells mixing together into what I like to call “a smelly jail”… However, adorned with my new wardrobe and having conquered the fantastical gas fired central heating, I was ready to face the harshness of the season.
Winter was quite dramatic, the darkness made me feel insecure and with the lack of sun a little bit depressed. This is actually a real thing in the northern hemisphere, it's called the "Seasonal Affective Disorder" (S.A.D.). Thankfully, as it happened with the first two seasons, winter didn’t last too long and almost without noticing (once again) the days were becoming longer. Then one Sunday while walking around the river I saw the first yellow flower in months! which turned out to be a hardy bush on the banks of the river, a.k.a a bad weed. Great, my first Spring flower was a weed! ! Regardless, I jumped for happiness and even shed a tear for that weed. Predictably, I took a couple of pictures and basically started walking everywhere looking for more flowers and green things. Spring had finally arrived!
The coming of Spring had quickly yielded a new routine, walking around all the “green places” I could find, looking and following the progress of all the trees, observing how many “baby leaves” (buds) they had, how many flowers and the different shades of green being born with the passing of the days. Major climate change, temperature was constantly increasing and plummeting just as quickly, I got a lot of headaches and had a couple of fights with the heating because it was practically impossible to find that sweet spot in the apartment I had established for the winter, and lets not talk about me wearing “spring clothes” on a really cold and rainy day ¬_¬. I sensed another trip to the shops was imminent. The beginning of spring was really confusing, but after a couple of weeks everything calmed down and things became predictable again. My trees were becoming greener and greener, there were flowers everywhere and the temperature didn’t force me to wear extra clothes. Ohh! The cherry blossoms have stolen my heart! Such a beautiful scene!
Spring was ending, so the days of my first big, but not last adventure.