Weather is all about perception

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The sandals were where I left them last night, on the floor beside the couch. I spied them as I sat sipping coffee in my fluffy robe, wearing my warm socks.

I remembered slipping them off when I pulled my feet beneath the blanket that I snuggled under while I watched television, wrapped up tight and glad to hear the soft sound of my heater pumping comfort into the house.

I know that seems an odd combination, sandals (more correctly flip-flops) a blanket and a humming heat system, but that is the way of things in south Alabama — flip flops by day, blankets by night. The welcome hint of spring in the air belies the fact that it’s still winter and my feet, feeling the misleading warmth, sent out a request for freedom from heavy socks and binding shoes.

So yesterday, I ventured into the dark depths of my closet rescuing my pretty, black summer shoes with their sparkly peace symbols from their winter exile. True it was a little chilly early in the day, but by afternoon when I carried my feet outside wearing the open shoes, it was kind of toasty in the sun. I propped them up on the lounger and let them drink in some rays.

Seeing the flip-flops this morning, I thought about the promise of another nice sunny day ahead, and wiggled my toes in anticipation. That is when I recalled that not many months ago, I longed for the warm temperatures we have this week because they were cool and I was so ready for cool, so ready to ditch the flip-flops.

Funny, isn’t it, how our perception changes with the seasons. What seems warm today seemed cold yesterday and vice versa. And, it’s interesting how we always, at some point, seem to want a different experience from the one taking place.

Now, I know that by mid July, I’ll start thinking about days when a cool wind blows in from the north and a chill ripples across these same toes that are now eager for freedom. I guess that is the way of humans, always reaching for something else other than what is right now.

Of course, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if we did not desire more or something different from what we have would new wonders ever come to life. For example, if a cave person hadn’t wandered out from that cave and considered what might happen if he/she rubbed two sticks together, we might still live huddled up in the dark wearing animal skins not knowing anything about cute shoes with peace symbols.

I guess the challenge comes not because we desire more or different, but because when we get so caught up wanting something other than what we have, we lose a whole bunch of the right now, and that’s something we can’t get back once it’s gone.

As all of this went through my brain, I looked at my flip-flops and noticed, maybe for the first time, words right where I put my foot. In white letters that stand out against the blackness of the shoes are the words “Sun Dancer.”

Well, there you go I thought. My shoes have a message for me on this deceptively spring-like February morning.

“Girl,” they said, “lose that robe, shed those socks, get out there, dance in the wonderful warmth before winter realizes it not quite time to leave and we, with our sparkly peace symbols, go back into closet exile.”