Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I really don't like sunshine

Winter is my favorite season, followed by autumn, when the days get short and the darkness takes over. This year Chicago got a white Christmas with inches of snow falling on Christmas night. It must have been beautiful.

But I wouldn't know because I spent Christmas Day in Florida. I left cold, picturesque Midwest for a sunny climate on Christmas Day. Of course, everyone I talked to about it envied me. Yes, I got clear skies and warm breezes for a few days, but I didn't want a break from below-freezing temperatures. People find this hard to believe. They think that if I live in Chicago, I must be delighted to escape the chill. Maybe this is what I should say to them:

Imagine a child who grows up in a bright and sunny part of the world. Their years growing up are spent in brightness and warmth, but also under extreme duress. The child has experiences that cause it to associate bright sunlight with pain and emotional isolation. Eventually the child grows up and moves away from this warm climate, finding comfort in a darker, colder part of the world that feels peaceful and safe.

Once these associations are in place -- sunshine and pain, darkness and comfort -- this person grows into an adult who avoids direct sunlight and relishes cloudy days and chilly temperatures. Yes, it's completely irrational and against human nature. It's inexplicable in any terms other than those of trauma and the way the mind makes connections.

Imagine such a person and you might begin to believe me when I say that I love gray winter days and nights that begin at 4 p.m. If you can really get your mind around it, you might even believe me when I say that I intensely dislike sunny climates, preferring the cold and darkness that cover my home in the Midwest, where I feel safe. This is where I want to be.


Sandii said...

i not only believe you, i am with you 100% - perhaps not because of emotional pain but just because i love the cold and winter and Chicago in Jan 2007 is one of my favourite memories!

I live in Perth, WA, 40 degree days at the moment, I suffer through them wishing for a storm!

Regina said...

Thanks, Sandii! I hope you get a storm, too.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't like heat at all, and I also love when it is rainy and cold because people stay inside instead of being noisy and bothering me. I am antisocial, I am up at night for the same reason. The more inhospitable to human life, the better.

Regina Rodriguez-Martin said...

Mysterious Babylonian - Yes! I love when it's too cold for people to have long arguments outside at 2:00 AM. That is definitely a BIG benefit of winter.

I'm holding my breath til Halloween now...