Thursday, 15 March 2012

What we take for granted, part 4

It is now summer in Cebu. I'm not sure why the Philippines has its summer in March and April, but it does. TVED are still hard at work, but the main school broke up last Friday for the long summer break and the college will be ending their term soon too.

But although it is now summer, there aren't many indicators of the passing of the year and the changing of the seasons. It may be the hottest time of the year, but it hasn't exactly been cool the rest of the time, and the temperature increase is fairly negligible. The length of the days has changed slightly, but the shift from darkness falling at about 5.30, to about 6pm is insignificant enough to be barely noticeable.

In some ways, I have really enjoyed missing a winter. I have enjoyed not having to wrap up in endless layers to step outside. I have enjoyed swimming in the sea when I know friends back home are curled up by the radiator.

That said, there is a rhythm created by the passing of the seasons that just isn't as marked here. The year is passing by, but there is little to differentiate this month from the last. We might not like winter much, but maybe we do take for granted the variety of the seasons and the way it structures our experience of the passing of time. We might not like winter much, but it does allow us to appreciate spring.

Don't get me wrong, on those days next winter (of which I'm sure there will be many) when it scarcely seems to get light all day, where the wind whips your face and when although it is not exactly raining you end up soaked to the bone only minutes after stepping outside, I will be dreaming of a Filipino December.

But the crunching of autumn leaves beneath the feet, a bright, crisp day with a sparkling frost (and then coming in and snuggling up with a duvet), buds of leaves and blossom and the first daffodils, long summers evenings where the sun shines until way past bedtime. Maybe these are things I will appreciate just a little bit more next year.


  1. I agree with you Steph I appreciate the changing seasons as well, each one has something different to offer. We are enjoying the Spring here now with everything coming to life again after the winter. It won't be long now till your enjoying the long summer eveings of Europe!! xxxx

  2. Yes ... I have been thinking about the seasons recently. We have been having beautiful spring days - blue skies, sunshine surprisingly warm for an English spring (obviously nothing to Phillipino standards!) and I was reflecting on how whatever season I'm in (even winter) there are times when it feels the best season. Each has its own beauty, its own compelling share of things to wonder at and appreciate ...