It’s almost here, summertime. In some parts of the country I know you’re already feeling it. From talking to my peeps in the South, it’s in the 90’s. Where I am right now, it’s cloudy and in the 60’s. The North has some pretty close to perfect early summers. Later on, it’ll get hot and humid here. But not now.
Growing up in the South, I remember long, very hot, sticky days. The kind of days when you stepped outside, a sheen of sweat would embrace you like a second skin. You’d give up after awhile of trying to wipe it off. Instead, you’d accept it and it’d slow you down. Maybe that’s why the South has a reputation for being laid back, in our actions and words. When it’s that hot, you slow-w-w down. You just don’t have the energy. You get the reputation of being slow, languid, maybe dull sometimes. We’re not, we’re just hot.
The Northern winters tense the body up. Speech comes out short and clipped. You keep your head down and get to where you’re going — quickly. You don’t speak to many people. The cold takes your breath away sometimes and your breath comes out like puffs of smoke. You don’t have the energy or desire to slow down. You gotta get somewhere to get out of that cold. You don’t dilly-dally (yeah, I said dilly-dally), your stride is strong, purposeful, quick. You get the reputation of being rude, insensitive, perhaps angry. We’re not, we’re just cold.
Then, there’s that time of year wherever you are, that’s the sweet spot. Those days that are damn near perfect. People are out enjoying the weather. Eating outside. Playing. Your energy is just at the right level. You’re not slowed down from the heat or tensed up from the cold.
Life — It’s Like Seasons
It’s like life, isn’t it? It’s that feeling that we all want. Where things are just humming along perfectly. An even keel of not too much this and just the right amount of that.
Sometimes that “weather” lasts for awhile and then wham, a heat wave reduces you to stagnation or the mother of a blizzard or hurricane or tornado or something harsh comes out of nowhere that just rocks your world. It’ll slow you down or take your breath away and you’re left there, blinking in disbelief thinking, “I didn’t see that coming.”
But you weather those extremes, and then after the shock, when things settle down and you get back on track, you regain your hope and start looking forward to that sweet spot again. You know it’ll come around again, it always does.
During those extremes, you either slow down and embrace or speed up and go at a clipped, non-stop pace to get through it — to the other side, depending on how you deal with those circumstances.
And every one of those extreme “storms” make you long for and appreciate those sweet spots so much more. Just when you think you can’t take anymore, it comes — that even-keeled, blue-skied, just right feeling.
What do you do when things aren’t quite right? Do you speed up or slow down? Do you hate weather analogies? What season are you in right now — literally and metaphorically?
Do tell and listen to some good tunes. Happy weekend.
I love this analogy, Brigitte! The beginning of spring was really distinct here; it was late, but the day it rained for the first time instead of snowed the air was different and everyone’s moods instantly changed. Living in a northern climate though, I find I speed up instead of slow down in the summer. I want to do all the things and take advantage of all the light, so I am chronically tired. But in a good way! Winter I just want to sleep away, like a bear hibernating. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s light until 11 pm in the summer and dark at 4 pm in the winter.
Hey J!! How are you? I’ve not been around much but felt like posting and thank you for stopping in. Just a CHANGE makes people’s moods change, huh? I know that where you are the summers aren’t as harsh and hot as the summers in the South — I’ll bet they’re just right. Winters — snow, darkness all that makes me slow down but I’ve witnessed people speeding up when they’re out and about here, just to get out of the cold! I’ve never lived anywhere where it stays light until 11 p.m.! It does get dark where I am now at around 4:30 in the winter and I do not like it. I prefer light and temps that hover around 70-75. So glad to see you here. Thank you. xo
This is exactly how life goes, and, yes, we all treasure that sweet spot, don’t we? In life, within the seasons, it’s the time we stop and breathe easier and simply enjoy what is around us.
Addie!!! Hey you. It’s the just enjoying what’s around us part and appreciating it — you are so right on about that. Being mindful…now that’s most definitely a “sweet spot.” Thanks, my friend.
“We’re not… we’re just hot.”
“We’re not… we’re just cold.”
Loved that! Chuckled each time.
I also loved wrapping up with the seasons (or rather, weather patterns) of life. I thought this was especially well-written, Brigitte. Perfect flow and a solid message. And, as always, full of Brigitte-born sunshine. By now, you probably recognize my love for metaphor… thanks for speaking my language and feeding my brain. 🙂
Sue, thank you so much for that. I do know your love of metaphor and obviously, I love using metaphors (maybe I overdo it sometimes) but it’s how I work things out in my head, in my life in good and bad times. So you’re welcome and you do the same for me. Many great songs, writing and poetry use metaphors, so I think we’re in good company. “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,” a sad and poignant song but one that most everyone can relate to, huh? Thank you my friend, as always for your support and kind words.
“Ain’t No Sunshine…”? Absolutely can relate. I’m also a huge music fan and have always put lyrics into permanent memory. So much wisdom there. I can’t possibly tell you how many times I’ve been transported elsewhere or have found solace in songs. I often reflect how empty my world would seem without music. It often gets me through the bad and accentuates the good. Have an awesome weekend!!! 🙂
You too, Sue. Have a beautiful weekend!!
This is great and being in the south, I can so relate. You are right though, life has its sweet spots and can be just as unpredictable as the weather sometimes. Important to remember that when you are in one you had better enjoy it.
Simon, how are you?? How is your beautiful family? You’re in Hot-lanta, aren’t you? Are you having those 90 degree temps? The older I get, the more I know this to be true — treasure and enjoy those sweet spots. Thank you and so good to see you again.
I am great and the family is thriving. It is sweltering already but we we actually got more than a weekend of spring this year before we were smacked with the hot humidity. Great to see you too.
I’m so happy to hear that, Simon. I talked to my sis yesterday and she said it was in the 90’s in the South but she was loving it because they (and we as a family) had a pretty rough winter. That sunshine does wonder (with or without the heat) for the soul.
George Harrison said it best,
“Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right”
I agree with Jen, Brig, good analogy. And I agree with you, I love it when the weather is 70-75, even 80 if the humidity is low. Right now, it is close to sweet spot time for me because things are nice in my personal life, I’m feeling creative and I’m sleeping well. But I still have to work a daily grind that eats up a huge chunk of my life. That and living in a hovel without A/C makes the upcoming dog days dreadful over here.
Hey V, why thank you sister-girl. I can take 80 without the humidity, but I still prefer the 70’s. I always say it doesn’t matter where you live, it’s the people and the way life is that makes you remember a place as “good” or not so good. I’m so glad you’re feeling creative and how proud you must be about your book. I read the first few pages by viewing it on Amazon and it only makes me want to read more. You are such a great writer and your style…well, it just goes to show how many talented writers there are “out there” who need to be on that elusive NYT best-seller list — YOU should be there. I don’t know how you do it without the A/C, but it must be working because your writing is certainly benefitting from any weather-realted angst you have gone through. Thank you, V, as always for stopping in and supporting my musings, however clumsy they may be at times. xo
I’d never ever call your musings clumsy Brig. You’ve just been through a lot in a short period so I can understand why your inspiration may not be as high as usual. High or low, your writing always has a lovely flow.
It’s nice to know that someone actually took a glance at my little tome’s Inside This Book feature. Thanks for the support!
Brig, I think this is one of my most favorite Brigitte posts. I didn’t know where you were going with the weather chat but I was enjoying it for what it was. You pulled it all together beautifully. We have had a most lovely spring here and everything is blooming. We have had a couple of days of rain so I don’t have to run the sprinkler. Life is good and I am grateful. I have gone through some dark years and sometimes I took to my bed and couldn’t move but as my mother always said, “this too, shall pass” and it always does.
You have had a rough year but you wouldn’t know it from the post. Thank you for the big smile you put on my face.
Happy weekend. Happy Summer.
Mags, why thank you! We have some things in common, my friend and I just love your spunk. I guess that’s the right word. Thanks for hanging in with the post — I was hoping it would get pulled together and make sense. ;). Thank you for your wonderful comment and your understanding. Happy weekend and summer to you. xxoo
I love this analogy! Metaphorically, I’m in spring. Literally I am in hot and sweaty. Was season is denial? hahaha
Hey D, thank you. Spring is a nice place to be — metaphorically and literally. I’m coming out of a cold, dark winter and that’s a good thing. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and your wonderful comment, my friend.
I’m a cranky Yankee through and through no matter what the temp. I prefer it hot and humid — just when will it arrive here in New England? I like to grind out my ills– suck it up is my mantra. No slowing down for me.
That being said-/- I wish I knew how to at times.
I loved this post— vintage ala Ms B!! You always make me smile lady.
Happy weekend to you !!
Cranky Yankee! Whatevs, I love your style. So you like hot and humid?? I bet you’re ready for some warmer weather though. You suck it up, as you say, cause you’re a strong woman. That’s what strong women do I guess, but you gotta slow down sometimes, right? So glad you enjoyed, Audra and you have a wonderful weekend as well. xo
I love Summers, Brigitte, but like Jen, I tend to be much busier. Between gardening, and working out more outside and all the fun summer activities, I sleep less – not to mention my biorhythms change when the days are longer. But I don’t mind because, even though I sleep less, I seem to have more energy. Also I love the outdoor spaces around our home and we often dine outside on the deck in the evenings – grilling out, spending long evenings just talking and listening to music. It’s definitely something to savor. Thanks for the great post, dear friend.
I love sunshine and the beginning of summer. It’s that stifling hot that slows me down. But I love to plant things and watch them grow so I’m like you that way. And we love the same as you and your hubby, grilling and eating outside, talking and listening to fine music. Now that is the best, no matter what the season. Thank you, Cathy — here’s to a beautiful summer for all of us.
I am quite spoiled by the Mediterranean type climate of Northern California and Southern Oregon, Brigitte, but I’ve lived in Alaska and West Africa so I can appreciate what I have. –Curt
Hi Curt, I’ve visited No. California and Oregon and that is definitely some sweet weather! No matter where we land, it’s always best to treasure what we have. I think you are so right about that! Thank you and have a great weekend!
Hey Brig! Here in NC we had the hottest, stickiest, most lethargic week ever. But then, yesterday evening around sunset a horrible storm came through and made a big commotion. But today, it’s a breezy 75 degrees again. I’ll take those storms if this is what they bring!
Hey Em, oh I remember those hot and sticky days. I lived in SC and Tennessee and it can get very hot and humid. Glad to hear you got a cooling off spell as you know, July and August…well, you know. 😉 Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by.
your metaphoric description of life was spot on — I love that sweet spot–when everything is just right–with the weather it is when you do not notice that you feel anything–you are not hot or cold, sweaty or teeth chattery–you are just right–I love those times–both in life and the weather — but you are right– we have to weather the other times
Hi Lou, hope that you’re having fine weather where you are, both literally and metaphorically. Thanks and I hope you’re having a great weekend.
it is a beautiful weekend here- sunny and warm and my youngest son is coming home for Father’s Day so both sons will be home – so I am a happy mom
Oh Lou, sounds like such a wonderful weekend. Enjoy!!
I grew up with the 4 seasons and I always loved fall best.. have lived in this tropic climate for almost 20 years and never did get used to it..but i endured and found a cool breeze when I could.
That’s what life is about I think, endure the seasons the best way we know how..
Happy almost summer to you.. I know it’s been a long winter up north!
Lynne, are you in your new home?! How exciting and I hope the weather/seasons, in all respects, is just perfect for you. Fall is my favorite season as well. It’s normally gorgeous no matter where you are. And I agree with you — you do the best you can do at any point in life and that usually always works out, right? Happy summer to you, my friend and I hope you have a great summer in your new place.
So nice to see you, Brigitte! Your weather metaphor works for me. I’ve been languishing in the blogging part of my life for the last little while, just too hot to get away from the veranda. I like the way you see this as a cycle. It helps me reframe what feels like sheer laziness and lack of effort into – perhaps- a needed rest… May the warmth arrive soon in your part of the world. On the west coast of Canada, we’ve had a lovely early summer. Some years, we refer to this month as “June-uary” – but this year it’s definitely feeling like June!
Hi Sally, likewise my friend! I’m glad — at times I tend to go overboard. I know what you mean, I think many are languishing (don’t you love that word??) because of summer. There are days when I feel lazy….maybe it is, as you say, a needed rest so I say just give into it when you can, eh? I’m so glad you’re having a wonderful summer. It’s pretty close to perfect here today. No humidity, high 70s. Thanks, Sally and have yourself a glorious weekend.
What a perfect way to describe people from different climates. I am originally from Puerto Rico and it is because of the intense heat that our favorite word seems to be, “Mañana”. It’s too hot to move too quickly. I now live in the Northeast and it feels more like a rat race and there is no slowing down in sight. 🙂 I think the seasons make us appreciate every perfect day we are blessed with.
BH, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I hope that you are having that just perfect kind of “weather” literally and metaphorically. Thank you and I agree with you — every day is a blessing.
This may be one of the best weather analogies I’ve heard of yet. I wasn’t sure where it was headed but liked the way you compared it to people’s personalities. I’ve been weathering some storms myself although none of them have been too serious. It can be hard while it’s going on but just like you said, blue skies eventually come around again and you gain more clarity after everything calms down. Writing helps too. Summer is pretty much in full swing where I’m at but I’m glad to be leaving before the humidity gets even more ridiculous. Happy weekend, Brigitte. 🙂
Hi Lillian, thank you. I know you’re going through some major changes and I look forward to reading about them. Exciting and safe travels to you, my friend. Happy weekend to you.
Literally, we’re in late spring/early summer. Although that might change in a few minutes…. Winter and spring were really a hodgepodge this year. So far summer isn’t too bad, although it’s probably on its way. For me in general, it’s still spring in most aspects of life. But writing still seems to be stalled in the steaming heat of late summer. I think that’s fairly common, though. Different parts of our lives can be moving at different speeds or even directions. And that definitely makes those perfectly balanced days something to cherish.
Hey JM, same here though we’re in for more rain. My writing has halted so I so understand about the stagnation change. I feel like all seasons are hitting at once as far as change going on right now! Great to see you and thanks!
That’s my favorite picture of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Brigitte. I used to practice that pose and pout in front of the mirror way back when I was sixteen! I feel I’m in the eye of the storm these days. It’s a wonderful place to be: calm, safe, and serene, watching and learning as the storm rages around me. Definitely a sweet spot for me! xoxoM
I just loved her in Gone with the Wind. ;). Calm, safe and serene sounds wonderful — I am looking forward to that, M. Thanks and so nice to hear from you. xxoo
“Do you hate weather analogies” — haha! You know, I wondered if the people in the south speak that way because it’s warmer. I think southern accents are sexy. But I never thought about what might have affected the northerner’s speech pattern. Indeed navigating in freezing weather probably has something to do with the clipped speech pattern.
Sandee, I’m so glad you caught that — it was meant to be humorous! How are YOU? Wonderful I hope. I think southern accents are kind of sexy too — but I do think all that heat must have something to do with it. My accent in the winters here sometimes come out chattering as my teeth are clicking together from the cold — ha!
Oh, Brigitte. You’re the BEST! I love your analogy and am feeling summertime, in my town and in my life. It’s delicious!
Hi Michelle, why thank you my soulful friend. So glad you enjoyed and so glad it’s summertime in your place and heart. 😉
I LOVE how you linked speech with the weather. This post is beautifully seamed together. I am definitely in summer mode. It’s funny how my personality “chills out” during the hot months. 🙂
Hi Anita, why thank you. Looks as if you’ve been taking a break, like me, from blogging. Lot going on with me right now. I’m so glad you’re in a summertime mode and that it’s not too, too hot in beautiful Nashville. So nice to hear from you. xo
Great post and analogy Brigitte. Indeed life , like the seasons, has its Springs and Autumns, its ebbs and flows. How could we shift our perspective to enjoy the journey itself rather than looking for the flag posts?
Hi Shakti — thank you! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you and as always, I so appreciate your thoughtful and kind comments.
Yes, and the “storms” can produce a wonderful feeling of aliveness too, I think — after a lengthy period of frantic activity, I often find myself reluctant to return to a relatively languid pace, because of the doldrums that can sometimes set in during it.
Hi Chris, it’s difficult to slow down after all the frenzy but it’s so needed, don’t you think? Thank you so much.