The degree to which weather/climate affects culture/society is endlessly fascinating to me. John pointed out in Costa Rica that, "the weather has all the energy for you." It was true... the sun rises at 5:15 AM or so. By 5:45, it is completely light. It sets at 6:00 PM and by 6:30 it's pitch black. The rhythms of life are much more about conserving your personal energy in the face of hot sun, humid air and day after day of sameness.
You see, today the sun came back out in Oregon. It was out the first few days I was home and then has been in hiding, for, oh, over a week.
And when the sun comes out in Oregon, people are nice. They drive faster. They go out to eat. They smile and wave and walk faster. They sit on park benches and laugh louder. There is an incredibly palpable energy boost in the air, which only increases by being around more people. (As in, my house is lighter and more energetic. But my neighborhood is even more so. And downtown is even MORE so.)
So, I wonder today, would I trade it in? Would I trade in this buoyancy, this mood enhancer, this little gift... for a consistent 12hours of daylight and 12hours of night? For a "slow and steady wins the race" sort of attitude? Now the siesta (which Ticos don't take) I could adopt. In rain or shine, it's, as Martha says, a good thing. But I wouldn't trade it. I wouldn't trade the feeling of bracing against the cold, drearily staring at the rain, turning on lights at 3:30 because it's getting dark or cozying up with homemade soup. Because as old as those feelings get, their opposite is too good to pass up.
Sun! Heat! BBQs! Tank tops! Flip flops! And crisp, cool-almost-cold, blankety nights. THERE'S the kicker, and the reason I love the 45th parallel and my adopted home of Oregon.