While the rest of the country is anxiously awaiting an end to the wrath of the Polar Vortex, we Californians have been waiting for the rains to come and fill our reservoirs and water our gardens and crops. It seems that we all want what we can’t have, doesn’t it? The days here have been unseasonably warm (and dry) and at every opportunity people will talk about the lack of rain and its effect on our state. The drought…it’s a hot topic. Serious as it may be, I can’t help but enjoy this strange weather and I still pinch myself when I’m standing outside in February in jeans and a long sleeve shirt watching the boys riding their bikes, climbing trees, playing in the sandbox…and painting en plein aire.
When we went home to Chicago for Christmas, the deep freeze had just begun and for many days we were cooped up inside. Not being used to this kind of contained environment, the boys went a little insane to say the least…as did I. Growing up there, I never really gave winter too much thought, it was just a part of the calendar year. It snowed, it was cold…sometimes freezing, but it was a cycle of the seasons and I was used to dealing with it. Living in California now for the past 7 years has definitely softened my winterized Chicago bones and I can’t even imagine enduring a winter like the one they are currently living through…not for myself or my kids. I realize that my boys have only known what it’s like to play outside (basically) all year round and because of that they have developed a strong appreciation for the natural world. It happens by default here in California and I must say it is one of the greatest gifts of living in this part of the country. Now, don’t get me wrong…children living where it’s cold and snowy also get to benefit from mother nature’s bounties, they just have to wear more layers and be careful that their little noses don’t freeze off.
And on those rainy days…when they do come (and thankfully they have), we take the time to snuggle up inside by a cozy fire, read books and play games. It’s this kind of in and out rhythm that I’ve grown quite accustomed to and I think after 7 years, I can finally call myself a California girl. Now if I could just get used to those earthquakes…hmm.