Monday, April 22, 2013

I wouldn't be a true Canadian if I didn't write about the weather from time to time...

The weather is perfect tonight. According to the forecast, it's 25 degrees here in Doha right now. Temperature means a lot less to me in Qatar than it did back in Canada. It's kind of always t-shirt/capri and flip-flop weather. I just know that once it gets close to 40, I stop wanting to go outside.

It's been getting close to 40 lately. Enough to prompt members of the Doha Mums group to start asking the annual question on the forum: "So what do you do with the kids once it's too hot to go outside?" I've been feeling the same tension I felt last year, to get outside as much as possible before it's too late, before park and beach visits turn into strolling-around-another-shopping mall-to-kill-time visits. So today's reprieve was welcome. I sat outside with Isabelle during the day, taking in the beautiful sight of our bougainvillea, and in the afternoon, when the breeze picked up, I threw open the windows, for possibly the last time till November.

Jeff took Kaiya swimming this afternoon, and as I sat in the quiet of the living room with Isabelle, my mind started playing tricks on me. The rustling of the curtain as it swayed in the breeze suddenly took me back to George Street, and there I was, snuggling a baby while listening to the curtains sway in our bedroom, the same late afternoon light dancing on the walls. And then I thought of all the other weather I hear in Canada. The muffled sounds of a good snowstorm, white powder piling up against doors and windows; the pitter-patter of a gentle spring rain, or the heavy drumming of a storm; the howling of the wind.

Don't get me wrong, we hear weather in Doha too. But not nearly as much as we did back in Canada.  Most often what I think is the sound of exciting oncoming weather is actually just a jet plane flying overhead. Here, a few drops of rain sends our daughter and various neighbourhood kids dancing in the street, shouting, "It's raining! It's raining!" And the breezes I used to welcome so much in Canada make me think twice about opening windows, for fear of the sand and dust that coats our floors and dries our feet within minutes.

I don't miss the long, grey days... the ones that made getting out of bed in the mornings so hard. And I certainly don't miss snow in April. But I miss the variety; I miss the coziness winter brings; I miss loud, cracking thunderstorms and refreshing winds that don't shower in dust.

But tonight was perfect. And as Jeff and I sat outside at the Second Cup at the Pearl (how Canadian of us), we mused about the crazy April weather friends and family have been enduring back home. And I wondered, earnestly, whether I have it in me to go back to the ups and downs of Canadian weather. Because as much as I miss the variety and the seasons, there's something to be said for picnicking in January and sipping after-dinner coffees by the water in flip-flops in April. 


Suzanne Veenstra said...

Truly Kathy, I wonder how you will ever readjust to Canadian weather. It can never be relied on!

James said...

Variety is nice for sure... in Qatar you only get exposure to one extreme. The weather is always either nice, or killer hot. In Southern Ontario we get both: winter days freezing our butts off, and also summer days where nobody wants to move it's so hot.

I think complaining about the weather is a "great" pastime of Canadians. Though I wish we could learn better cultural ways to embrace it... A German friend of mine recently told me they have a saying roughly translated: "April does what it wants." Meaning, you will get all types of weather in April. He seemed to think that this cultural saying helped Germans to make it through the crazy April weather (one day sun-bathing, the next day snowing). I wish we had more simple tools like this to help get us through the variety of weather in this country (other than constantly complaining).

Tara Robertson said...

hmm it sounds lovely :)