April showers bring…more May showers

I am starting to believe that Lyon can’t make a clear decision in regards to the weather. Sunny and high-sixties, or rainy and mid-forties. So instead of making said decision, Lyon just deems it okay to have both one day after the other, or lately, both types of weather patterns on the same day.

Now I was raised in the pacific northwest, so rain and I have a long history. I quite enjoy it actually, the whole singing-in-the-rain phenomena. But the Lyonnais seem to have another opinion. On the rainy days, it seems everyone stays inside–no one to be seen walking in Vieux Lyon or going to the supermarket. Yet the moment the sun comes out, everyone and their brother flock to the park. The differences I’ve seen are truly amazing–from one rainy Saturday counting approximately 10 other park-goers, to a sunny Monday that same week seeing thousands of people, to the point where you’d think you were mistakenly in Central Park.

Have you ever really stopped and thought about this? How intriguing it is that we let the weather affect our lives and emotions to this extent? Deciding that summer is our favorite season (because we know the sun will be out), when really our favorite season is autumn (we’re just too caught up in the fact that there might be some grey days intermingled). Or the fact that we change our plans, purely because there’s a chance of rain, and where ever we were deciding to go won’t be as pretty as the pictures on google images.

We all have been victim to this thought process. Even being here in France, I know many students are ready to leave, because they’re tired of the grey days in May. And it’s funny to me, because I sit there thinking, but you’re in France. You have ample amounts of time to soak up the warm weather and sunshine this summer. But how much longer do you have to live in France? Not to mention the fact that there have already been copious amounts of gorgeous days in Lyon, and there are more on their way. Lyon might not share the same saying we have about April showers, but they have so many other things that we don’t have back at home.

I think it comes down to a question of our perspective, and a question of our value. Growing up, always playing house hunter and wondering where I’d like to live in the world, my mother would tell me, “if you can love a place during its worst days, you’ll love it on its best days”. I think this is key–if you can travel somewhere, or visit some place when during its off-season, or during a day you don’t find particularly appealing, and still love it, than you can see the true beauty it holds. Because yes, you can wait till summer to go traveling so your photos are top-notch quality, but you’d be missing three other seasons. And many times, the authenticity of a place lies in the off-seasons.

Actually, some of my favorite days in Lyon have been when its rained. I’ve gone on walks around the town, and through the park, and seen so much more than I could have if it had been nice out. Many people forget the importance of this, the phenomena of seeing the world on a quiet day, finding things you wouldn’t otherwise find when surrounded by crowds. I just wish more people could become attuned to this practice.

So I’m telling you. Don’t let the weather forecast hold you back. Go for a walk in the rain on purpose. Visit your favorite vacation destination during off-season. Realize all the things you’ve missed because you were content to let the weather change your mind. And then repeat this, again and again. Life is too short to wait for the perfect weather or perfect day to go outside and enjoy the world around you. You’ll never truly have the same appreciation for the sunny days you crave until you know what other days may hold.

 

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