If you’d told me a year ago that I’d soon be living in a city with a pleasantly hot climate all year round, I imagine I’d have been overjoyed at the prospect of leaving the gloomy weather of my hometown in Scotland. Although, if you’d mentioned I would be living in a country with no seasons, I might have reacted differently. Before moving to Colombia, I was aware that the climate would be very different from what I was used to. I anticipated less rain, less wind and a lot more sun. Each of these predictions turned out to be correct, as the city in which I currently live, Bucaramanga, has a more or less perfect climate. Isn’t this the dream? Being able to leave the house without a jacket, and not requiring a different wardrobe for each month of the year? Initially I thought so.
I’m certainly not missing the torrential rain and gale force winds which are typical of British weather. However, the dependable sunshine and heat in this city draw my attention to the lack (or sheer non-existence) of changing seasons. That feeling when you start to notice that the long evenings of summer are coming to an end, and the leaves are falling in preparation for autumn; when the pavements become frosty with ice and the mornings turn dark and gloomy; the first sight of blossom in spring as nature restores itself after a brutal winter; and then it starts all over again. A beautiful cycle which once to me seemed so ordinary and mundane.
With the festive season soon approaching, I can’t deny that I’m longing to be wrapped up on a crisp autumn day just as I was this time last year. I recently found this longing of mine perfectly illustrated through a poem written by Rupi Kaur which she titled ‘Unappreciative’. The poem uses the seasons as a metaphor for essentially always wanting what you don’t have. I’m pretty certain that if I was still sitting in my university library in Scotland right now, I’d be wishful of a life in Colombia, which for so long was my dream. And now here I am, longing to see familiar piles of leaves dyed burgundy and amber just as I know there are back home.
Having the luxury of experiencing life in two completely different parts of the world leaves room for comparison, and feelings which could be considered ‘unappreciative’. Along with these feelings also comes the need to accept that as much as you love one thing, there will always be parts of you that long for something else. With the absence of seasons in my current home, for now I’m happy dreaming of the fallen leaves which I will one day meet again, whilst enjoying a new world with its own unique traits. After all, being able to appreciate the value of something which is now absent will only make you more appreciative when it returns.
Do you appreciate the place where you live?