I love weather. Not just good weather – any weather. Cold, hot, snowy, windy – I just like weather. I like seasons. I like experiencing the wild range of things that the skies bring.
This is the second time I’ve come to Provincetown in the winter. It’s beautiful here in the hard winter light; the town is quiet; the circus of summer has packed up and gone.
The other day was absurdly windy – the weather stations reported sustained winds of 30mph with gusts up to 50mph. I took my car to Herring Cove, where sand blew fiercely against the windows and piled up at the edges of the deserted parking lot. I could feel the car shake at each hard gust. The Atlantic curled up again and again, white at the crest of every long wave, deep blue-green in the water’s valleys. At Race Point, standing in the dunes and watching the wind make shuddering waves of the dry beach grass, I felt sorry for any living creature that didn’t have shelter.
That night, after the winds had died down a bit that I no longer heard them howling through my window, I pulled on some sweaters and headed out for a walk in town. The sky was clear: I could see Orion and the rising moon and a few clouds, high enough to seem not to move. It was maybe twenty degrees, and occasional gusts of wind still ripped through the streets. But for some reason I found myself grinning every time the wind picked up. I realized I was exhilarated just to experience the weather. It was delicious to be outside in the sharp cold. I’m the same way when it’s snowing: the snow might be a pain in the ass, but it’s beautiful and exciting. I love the shadows of an overcast sky and the deep blue of a clear, dry day. Even on a brutally hot summer day, I can’t help appreciating the clarity of the searing sun.
Perhaps it’s part of the drive to be outdoors: not just to see the monuments of the natural world, the extremes of desert and forest, mountains and meadows, but to experience the world in its most changeable states.