Cold Front

Weather plays a big part in our lives in Miami. Many of us, or our families, came here because of it – it hardly ever freezes, we have sunshine most of the time, and the Gulf Stream often makes it cooler than some parts of northern Florida.

We pay for it in hurricanes. I spent sixteen days this year without electricity because of hurricanes. Barrel tiles litter my roof. The yard has tilted and downed trees. A join separated on the fence. Nothing like what our friends in New Orleans had to endure this year, but nevertheless a seasonal, persistent worry and the source of nearly insoluble troubles. It seems that I will get the Pope on the phone before a roofer. We thought the storm season was busy last year. This year we got our heads kicked. It looks like we’re in for more, and worse.

We also pay for it in summer heat. The humidity gets so intense you feel that you could suck the water out of the air if you wanted a drink. You break into a sweat at 6:30 PM doing anything more strenuous than parallel parking with the windows down. Either it gets hotter every summer, or I’m getting older and having increasing trouble dealing with the heat, and we know it’s not the latter.

When a cold front comes, like the one we’re expecting this week, temperatures drop into the high fifties at night. People shiver and break out their sweaters. They complain.

But I welcome it. I wonder if I have a reverse case of seasonal affective disorder. When it cools off and becomes gray, I feel a sharpening of focus, optimism, and excitement. Prolonged sunshine makes me feel sluggish and scattered.

We’ll have cold spells off and on through April. I will do my best work, and feel the most at home in Miami as I ever do. Come February, New Yorkers will lament their fate, that they live in a giant popsicle storage warehouse, and we’ll be going for bike rides, feeling smug. This is the most beautiful time of year in Miami.

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