It is early. It is February. It is New York City. I want to go get groceries before work (and I do) but I don’t think about what jacket to wear. I just put on my winter jacket because it's February in New York City. And I like that. I like that it is reliably cold in February in New York City because I don’t have to think twice or check the weather or poke my head outside. I know it’s going to be cold because it is 7:00 AM. And it is February. And it is New York City.
Because there’s nothing more confusing than being in between seasons, right? We see the memes and jokes all the time. “It was 70 here on Tuesday and now it’s snowing!” “This is false Spring, winter will be back soon.” “In Western Pennsylvania you can get all four seasons in one day!”
So, let’s talk about that inbetween weather. It’s frustrating right? Sometimes you put on a winter jacket when you definitely could have made a hoodie work. Or sometimes you forgo the jacket all together and find yourself shivering all the way home. Do you wear pants and a t-shirt? Shorts and a hoodie? Do you still need socks and boots or could you pull off sockless flats?
It’s easy to have things be black and white. Hot and cold. Summer and winter. But isn’t there something better about the nuance?
Because you see that’s simply not how life works. It’s not always a case of “they were right and they were wrong” or “this is how it is and that is how it isn’t.” While there are some definite truths in life and some universal realities that must be accepted, a vast majority of the things we place value in lie on some spectrum.
There are many things in my life I would love to simplify. “This happened. This person was responsible. This is the result.” It might help my brain make sense of things if I could somehow put it in a chart. If it was a math equation I could solve. If there was only one proper, true answer.
Instead we’re left with days where you leave home without gloves and are sure you’ll lose a couple fingers to frostbite while you’re out there. Instead we have kitchens with too many cooks where it becomes impossible to say where one left off and one picked up. Instead we have loss, filled with so much love we’re unable to choose between heartbreak and healing.
Instead we have nuance. We have messy stories and incomplete endings. We learn that despair dances with awe and wonder with grief.
Most of our time isn’t spent in the reliably cold mornings of February in New York City. And we are better humans because of it. Humans better able to feel and understand the grey areas… better prepared to make sense of all our seasons—of climate, of life, of loss, of love. Especially of love.