The first wisps and swirls of fog wend their way through the streets. I welcome them. For me it is long past time for the return of the grey overcast skies. The warmth and humidity of summer I have tired of. Now it is time for a change.
For me that is Lima,Peru. The warmth of the summer lasts just long enough so that at the end I begin to yearn for the days of cool sunlessness. In turn, next November I’ll begin to look forward to the return of the sun and its warmth. Then, I’ll also begin to yearn seriously for sun light and for wearing lighter clothes.
It is perfect. I get just enough of each season to satisfy me.
Strangely, the coming of the gray also brings with it a renewed sense of energy. The cold motivates me to move more. I bundle up and off I go with plenty of zip. When it is warm and sultry, I feel sluggish. I don’t want to move. I really have to resort to extraordinary measures to get myself going.
For a California kid, raised to worship the sun, this is a change. The sun was always my friend. A clear sky meant that it was time to get outside and play in the park or at the beach.
Unfortunately, I now have to take steps to protect myself from my former friend, the sun. In fact, last year the doctor had to carve a chunk out of me, saying “this is skin cancer and you will have to be very careful in the sun from now on”.
So that means no more beaches for me except in the early morning and late afternoon.
So from now on I have to cover myself with sun-block just to go out and walk with my dogs.
So it is no wonder that I now welcome the gray days of winter.
This is a safer time for me. But it is more than that. I truly enjoy the fog. There is something comforting in the grey cotton that envelopes the city. It is as though the world is close and intimate. It is cozy.
It also has its beauty. There are days when I look across the thick grayness from Barranco and, if I am lucky, the mist will part just enough to reveal the tall buildings of Miraflores, all but the tops swathed in fog. Somehow they look more beautiful and more mysterious then.
For some the weather in Lima is dull and predictable. The temperatures don’t vary wildly as in other parts of the world. In addition, we don’t even have rain storms here. Instead, the winter brings a light drizzle, called garua, that gets things a little damp, but never really washes the city clean.
For me, though, I am happy. Welcome fog. Go away sun.
Gray is good.