I don’t carry any sort of music player around with me, although I used to and sometimes really wish I had something to block out certain sounds and certain voices. But I also like eavesdropping, and it’s terribly easy to do in this day and age. All the conversations spinning around us – on cell phones, on the bus, on the sidewalk. Lately the conversations have been obsessed with the weather, and every year I have to laugh at this. We all know the seasons. We all know what to expect. Yet every year I hear people talking to each other (usually native to the area, mind you!) about how unseasonable the season is. For instance, it’s October. It’s getting cold. This surprises people. I start to wonder about our short-term and long-term memories, for while the body is shocked by the change in temperature, the mind remembers many winters and these same conversations will invariably bring up the winter of (insert year) when everyone went ice-fishing or the winter of (another year) when flowers popped up in December.
Does the short-term memory of the body override the long-term memory of the mind? I don’t think so. I think the conversations I hear about the weather are attempts by people to cover up the pleasure they feel in remembering / rediscovering the season. Even though I can’t remember where my gloves are, I am thrilled by the leaves on the ground, delighted that my breath turns frosty, pleased to see Orion in the early morning, and terribly excited to have butternut squash soup again.