Traveling at Weather’s Whim

Now that we’re a couple weeks into official winter, I want to revisit the issue of weather. More specifically, I would like to address my desire to hibernate for three months and inability to wake up before noon if it’s not sunny.

So instead of hibernating or sleeping all day, I am escaping this admittedly mild winter for a tropical island whose temperature rarely drops below 70 degrees. In a little over month, I’m flying to Okinawa, Japan for a family/research adventure. Near-equatorial weather aside, I’ll be among people who are just pushed and pulled by climate as I.

Cathy Davidson says this about weather in 36 Views of Mount Fuji:

The Japanese expect connections between external conditions and internal ones. If the rainy season, for example, comes too late or lasts too long, everyone starts acting strange; it becomes almost a national obsession. The national meteorological service feels compelled to apologize publicly for the disruption.

I get anxious when the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow. I get cranky when I’m cold.  I let external conditions affect my own, but Davidson continues:

In the West, our usual impulse is to deny that anything as significant as the ego could be influenced by mere nature.

But isn’t it easier to blame nature than ourselves for any faults of ego? Nature, weather, rain is the perfect scapegoat for the fact that I’m still in bed at 1 o’clock. Maybe in Japan I could get away with that argument, but with a warm forecast I won’t have to.


January 6, 2010. Tags: , , , . autobio, travel.

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