(I had hoped that implementing notes would be a relatively painless process, but it has turned out to be rather painful after all. I jury-rigged the site to support the note you see below, but by making this change I have broken a number of little things that need to be fixed before I can continue posting. Once I get this all sorted out I hope to be posting more regularly.)
Today marks the official beginning of the notes I discussed in the last entry, and for my first note I decided to tackle a fascinating and inspiring topic: the weather.
I woke up today to something rather odd: sunshine and blue skies. Normally at this time of year, this wouldn’t be odd, it would be par for the course. But autumn so far this year has been downright miserable. For the past week it has been cloudy and/or rainy nearly all of the time. In fact, it’s been cloudy and rainy for the past month or so, which is odd, seeing as the rainy season was supposed to have ended some time ago. Apparently someone didn’t get a memo.
The weather forecast calls for increasing clouds tomorrow, rain on Sunday, and clearing again on Monday, but who knows what is actually going to happen. The weather forecasts these days are about as useful as the Homeland Security Advisory System (and possibly as accurate), so I’ll trust the Korea Meteorological Administration about as far as I can throw it. But seeing as we’ve had no real autumn weather to speak of so far, I’m not getting my hopes up. That’s why I took some time out of my day to go outside and soak in a bit of sunshine.
As anyone who has spent more than five minutes in Korea will probably know, we are blessed with four distinct seasons here (if you’re not from Korea, you may have a hard time understanding the concept of seasons, but suffice it to say that the weather changes drastically throughout the year (yes, I am being sarcastic)). By far my favorite of these four seasons is autumn. Winter is bleak and cold, with lots of snow in our area making a trip out to the store a major expedition (if not impossible). Spring would be nice, what with the warm weather, the gentle green of new leaves, and everything coming back to life, but yellow dust (desert dust and pollutants blown over from China) puts a real damper on things. Even without the dust, the weather is generally hazy. Summer here is the worst—if it’s not pouring rain, it is swelteringly hot. But autumn has no drawbacks. The heat of summer has dissipated, leaves begin to change colors (Korea has some really beautiful foliage), and the sky is a crisp, clear blue. I suppose the only drawback for me is that I often have problems with my allergies when the weather changes.
Autumn has always been my favorite season, I think, even before coming to Korea. For a long time, autumn meant the beginning of a school year (in Korea, the school year begins in spring), so it was always the start of something new. At the same time, though, it was the end of the yearly cycle that ended with nature going into hibernation. The first bite of autumn air after the heat of summer always makes me feel a bit sad and melancholy, but I guess I treasure that feeling. It’s hard to explain, but knowing that the year is coming to an end makes it that much sweeter.
I know that autumn is just starting, and I have hope that the weather will clear up eventually and we will be blessed with clear blue skies, but it’s just been a little depressing so far. When this time of year rolls around, I live for days like today. If I hadn’t been feeling under the weather I would have hiked the mountain, but my allergies were particularly vicious. So I’ll just have to be content with my brief walk outside. With any luck, it won’t be too long before we see the sun again.