Today it is just a little bit breezy in Atenas and I have to say I’m enjoying it. While we were in Alajuela, there was never a breeze to speak of. The only time I really ever saw the trees move was when the earthquake happened. We’ve been told by several people that Atenas, Costa Rica has the most pleasant climate in all the world and so far I have to say that has been true. Though it does get cool (not cold) at night and the humidity can make things a little uncomfortable to me, an American Midwesterner where the air is always extremely dry, I could live with the weather here for a long time.
But weather is only one reason to travel to a place. Indeed, there is really only one time of the year when weather would singularly motivate me to get on an airplane and go abroad: winter. It’s true that the drought in the United States this year made the entire state of Nebraska rather inhospitable. Usually I really enjoy summer and early fall. But I never enjoy winter in western Nebraska.
Winter in western Nebraska changes people. It makes them mean. Instead of huddling up together they become very stand off-ish. It could be a time of fun parties and hot cocoa, but it’s not. People hole up inside their houses and try to avoid each other until their existential depression lifts (never realizing that a little bit of socialization can help get rid of the blues).
There are few places in the world that are less hospitable than Nebraska in the wintertime so when we travel that time of the year, I don’t feel as though I’m missing anything positive or enjoyable. But right now, as summer draws to a close, I know that I’m missing things like the shadows shifting as the earth moves toward its winter position. I know that there are some warm and cool days that are very pleasant and tolerable back home. The leaves have probably not started to turn colors yet, but the locusts are chirping almost constantly and will continue to do so until the first freeze.
The lack of season change here is a little bit unnerving. Normally, I think that I pace myself by the seasons. I know that there is a time each year when things stop and start and I count on those times to regroup and rest. Here, the weather is the same almost every day. It’s pleasant and nearly perfect but without the element of constant change that’s going on in the higher latitudes. I’m sure that I would get used to the differences over time, but today I miss the changes taking place at home. I think a part of me would always miss them no matter how long I was away.