One of the greatest things about being outdoors is the awareness of seasons and their variances. I’m not one to care about seasons in the sense of fashion, flings, shopping, or consumer holidays–to me, the great outdoors is the place to recognize the variance of weather and wilderness (or at least urban parks!).
Yesterday was my first run outside this year, and the first in a couple months now. Being stuck with running on a treadmill is so incredibly soulless that I can’t find any joy in it. So to get outside, even if it was only in a rare dry and unused parking lot near the woods I usually run in felt good, man. Like incredibly exhilarating.
The day was cold, and it is the first time I’ve run any length wearing a running jacket and hood–but the sun was shining in full force behind a cerulean background. So simple–a two-mile run outdoors, something that I have missed, thanks to first my fractured toe late last year and then a month of Arctic outflow, ice, snow, and wind that has made running surfaces icy and unsafe to sometimes even walk on, much less run on.
So of course, with that distant sun trying to warm things up, I thought of spring. I love the changing of the seasons, but I do not like long winters–and normally around Vancouver we do not get this kind of winter. So I’m very much looking forward to above freezing temperatures and good surfaces to run on. During my jog yesterday I remembered a few years ago when the Winter Olympics were held here, and we were already well into warm temperatures. Snow had to be created for most of the events. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom, and we went to see Stephen Colbert, who did a free show in the park near Science World. Felt like Earth Day, not winter, as we stood outside in the sun, jacketless.
I thought about that yesterday and realized that if we have an early spring again, we could see those cherry blossoms in another month. And maybe my new baby Ojochin cherry tree (which had some blossoms in November!) will bloom too, and then I will be planning my garden again, which is always exciting.
Who knows how soon spring will happen, though. Just the idea of new weather to run in, though, kind of punctuates my year with excitement. In the summer, I dream of cooler temps, and sometimes end up running during beautiful sunrises if the temperatures will be overly high later in the day. In the winter, I look forward to dryer trails. In the fall and spring, I look forward to less downpours (though I do like running in gentle rains).
Seasons are one way to kind of compartmentalize life, and when you temper the mood according to the elements outside (rather than to what to buy this time of year), it is very rewarding and freeing. And yet with climate change, which extreme weather is already linked to, we’ll see larger differences than with traditional weather. Reports say that here in BC we’ll have:
- Melting glaciers, which will impact spawning fish and water supplies
- Wildfires burning into the fall, emitting more greenhouse gases
- Unpredictable growing seasons, which will impact crops, invasive pests, higher tides that may crash over dikes, water shortages, and more wildfires and drought
- Fish migrating to northern more acidic waters, along with warming ocean waters
The featured image is of a Viking Longboat we sailed on a couple years ago.