* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps

Seasons Change (or do they?)

The view outside days before leaving for Jamaica (Northwest U.S., March 2012)

If it weren’t for pictures posted on facebook, I probably would have forgotten that it was Halloween, that the leaves are changing colors, that the air is getting crisp, and its time to wear sweaters. Here, whenever I have to recall the date, my mind does this wheeling process like its trying to get its bearings. I no longer have the seasons to indicate which month I’m in, so instead, there’s a brief moment where it feels like it could be any month. March? July? September? Finally, I recall the truth by referencing to the last time I went through this process. Oh yeah, we’re in October.

I’ve never been season-less before, and it’s a disorienting experience. When I studied abroad, I was basically at the same latitude as my hometown. And when I volunteered abroad for an extended time, I went to a hot climate in the summer, which didn’t seem unordinary. Here, there is only hurricane season, rainy season (or two of them, apparently), and dry season. There is a season for mangoes, avocados, and the other fruit. There is the school year, which dictates a lot of the changes we feel, along with national holidays. But all throughout, the temperature hovers between 80 and 90 degrees a majority of the year. I’ve been told it will start to get cooler soon, which I think means somewhere in the high 70’s.

Having Raynaud’s condition, which makes being cold highly uncomfortable, I expect to appreciate Jamaica’s climate a lot more as we enter our first “winter” here. I think that the familiarity and sentimental attachment I have with the seasons will soon be trumped by my aversion to winter.

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