I grew up in the small Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico is a very small island, measuring roughly 100 miles long and 35 miles wide.  Being that it is such a small island, one cannot escape the effects of the salt air, the heat and the humidity.   Also, since it is only 18 degrees above the equator the temperature does not change much seasonally, staying usually around a balmy 71 to 88 degrees all year round.  The leeward winds come from the east and provide some relief on those warm days, but, usually because of the great humidity, this relief is very short lived. 

As a child I vividly remember hating the weather and the fact that things never changed.  Every day was usually sunny, (except for the brief rainy season).  This was a thing that I learned to hate, as when the sun would beat so strongly I would feel as if it was piercing through my skull, giving me a headache.  The salt air was also quite problematic, as it corroded most metals in record time (including cars, refrigerators).  This usually meant cars would corrode very quickly, especially if the paint finish was damaged in any way.   I still vividly remember going to high school in my friend’s mom’s car which had a hole in the floor.  I would amuse myself looking at the road go by as we drove to school, while being careful not to put my foot through the floor!

When you live in that kind of environment the only way to get relief is to go to the beach or a pool, where you can get in the water or enjoy the breeze, or go to the shopping malls where there is always air conditioning.  Everyone figures out pretty quickly this is the only thing that cuts away that wet feeling which makes you want to take a shower, twenty minutes after you took your first one!  It is no surprise that Puerto Rico has developed into such a consumeristic society, we are all trying to get out of the heat and sun!.  As a child I yearned for changes in the seasons,  seeing the snow that I could only see in TV and movies, seeing the leaves change color, and getting out of the miserable hot sunny days.

I got my wish after high school as I went to college in Indiana.  There I finally got to see the leaves changing color in the fall, and the beautiful effects of the snow.  I embraced it all fully,  the leaves, the snow, wanting to do and learn all the things people did in that kind of weather.  

I was quite surprised though to find out how thrilled other people were about  having sunny days.  A lot of  small talk was usually about the weather, what a nice day we’re having and so forth.  Something I definitely was not used to, coming from a place where the weather never changed and there was only one guy talking about weather on TV, (usually really late when no one was really watching TV anyway).  They couldn’t wait for the first signs of spring to go sunbathing and walking around in shorts, regardless of the actual temperature.  Needless to say, I never saw the point in this.  Who needs a sunny day?  I felt I had had plenty to last me a lifetime.

It seems funny thinking back on it now.  Goes to show you how much our perceptions are dependent on our context, where we come from, and what we learn to appreciate.  We can never take anything for granted.  We can't take for granted what someone will or won't appreciate, or the fact that even that perception can change with time, and with a change of scenery.  One never knows . . .