Thoughts on seasons

I miss Fall.

Not just the season itself, but the crisp weather and crunchy leaves and pumpkin flavored products. I miss that feeling that summertime has faded, leaving that academic air of new school years and scarves and warm mugs of tea. Lately, I’ve been envious of my friends who have been attending Halloween parties, football games, and the NC State Fair. And with just a few weeks till Thanksgiving, I realize how soon the holidays will be upon us. I can’t help but miss that.

With friends at the NC State fair last year

When Jonathan and I arrived in Thailand, we were told that we were just a month away from “Thai Winter”. We took this as a positive sign, seeing the on-coming winter as a reprieve from the humidity, hot temperatures, and the habit of taking multiple showers a day to wash off the day’s sweat (lovely image, I know). But the mark of Thai winter has come and gone, and the weather is about the same.

Average temperatures in Thailand

It’s both a blessing and a bit disappointment to live in a country with warm, sunny temperatures all year long. I can maintain a tan and wear summery dresses at any point of the year. But it’s difficult to appreciate the year-long summery weather without experiencing the cold as well.

A few of my Thai friends have admitted that they’ve never left Thailand before, or been anywhere besides Southeast Asia. With temperatures that almost never drop below 70 and often soar over 100, I find it amazing that they’ve never seen snow or needed to bundle up to walk outside. In fact, many of my co-workers wear cardigans on days when it’s 80 degrees outside, commenting on what a cool day it is. It frankly amazes me that we experience temperatures in such different ways.

But there are different seasonal marks here which I haven’t been able to appreciate yet. I’ve been told about April’s Songkran festival, also known as Thai New Years, that marks the beginning of the rainy season. Songkran — which means “a move or change” in Sanskrit– involves traditions of throwing water and spraying water guns to celebrate the on-coming rain. New year resolutions are made, as are preparations for the searing heat of April. In many ways, this period is Thai “Fall” in the sense that a new season is approaching and changes are made. Thailand is introducing me to new seasons, which I look forward to appreciating more as my time here progresses.

Songkran celebrations in Chiang Mai, Thailand (source)

“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”  – Charles Dickens

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