I'm a fan of pathetic fallacy. If my mood is somber then it should be absolutely chucking it down outside. I should be able to look out my window at the cobbled street and give the nimbus clouds a knowing nod of thanks as strangers and neighbours take shelter from my mood-induced precipitation. On grey days I used to be nonplussed at the atmosphere's lackadaisical approach to presenting itself. I used to be dumb founded when I woke from gloomy snoozes and found the sun would be penetrating through my window. I was astounded it had the cheek to show its bright boisterous face whilst I hid under blankets behind weighted closed doors. The weather however never seemed attune to my frame of mind. The Met Office seemed to miss my memo each morning for their forecast on how to dress the sky.
The seasons have never fazed me. The deep dreich festive months make me think of long walks in rabbit skin hats and seafood banquets in front of the telly. I've never wished the months away. I don't yearn for the new beginnings of spring, although I do have a soft spot for leaping lambs. I don't long for summer sunshine and twirling around in crisp floral dresses and the smell of jasmine from my neighbours garden. The tumbling leaves creating crunchy carpets in autumn always make me smile, but I don't crave harvest hues all year round. To me, the changing of the seasons has always been a wondrous grand open-air theatre production for all to see. The changeable weather, always generous in its variety, produces a new genre and tone to each yearly orbit.
While engrossed in grief, the seasons sadly don't always represent their metaphorical meanings. Good weather does not always bring with it good times. Relationships that had remained strong and fulfilling in fair weather had turned to destructive depressions in grayer times. Chaotic emotional systems are de rigueur for the recently bereaved. There is no calm. On blistering hot days I have had to brave bitterly cold conversations and brisk realizations. There was a serious drought of empathy, patience and compassion from all fronts. Nothing was set to blow this damaging and destructive point of view away.
This is unfortunately true of so many people with departed significant others. Not only do they have to endure months of black, they must also battle and contend with judgment and assessment from bosses, friends, neighbours and loved ones. Those who have never experienced the downburst of raw emotion that drenches your insides feel most inclined and well versed in giving you 'generous' passive aggressive advice. Opinions will be vastly polarized, resentment will build and anger will accumulate your every decision. Flashes of joy will be swiftly stolen from you by a strike of criticism or a boom of condemnation and even watered down niceties can crack and damage your very best mood. The heavy air left behind by so many turbulent exchanges would understandably send anyone to seek shelter and solitude.
The start of my mourning season commences every late summer. Anniversaries form an attack against my calendar that starts at a time of excessive joy and hilarity for other city dwellers. Balmy humidity cloaks the city as it whoops with fun and games. Poster plastered streets trickle with soggy tourists and a deluge of loud voices. Parties-a-plenty-ecstatic-events-neon-signs-jugglers-unfunny-comedy-lots-of-warm-alcohol. I walk by heedless to the fun and frolics. One particular year my fair weather friends had grown particularly impatient of my lack of smiling and my constant need of companionship. The mask I used to hide my dense depression had slipped. I could no longer provide the fun and excitement my former vivacious self had oozed in my previous life, to them I had become boring and tedious in my grief. Vendettas soon evaporated. Invitations ceased. Texts remained unanswered. As the Scottish saying goes "there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!" and I was acutely aware I had to dress myself better if I wanted to survive.
I remain thankful that the seasons will always change. You may start the New Year surrounded by inspirational women with vibrant ideas and magical stories. In spring you'll be looked after by your dearest beautiful friend, she'll make fish pie and listen to your every single woe. By summer a blue-eyed windsurfer will swoop in make you giggle, hold your hand and whisk you off in a new direction. A dashing pilot will fly in on the mid summer wind invite you to a gin tasting and speak in puns. When the leaves turn rusty rouge in autumn an amber haired ceramicist will buy blueberry custard doughnuts and dance to sixties music with you. Then, by winter, you will be part of a new family. Snug in their bosom, never judged, always valued and eating seafood in front of the telly.