It’s hard to believe that the year is coming to an end, and for the first time in my life, I’ve experienced a year (almost) with changing seasons. As a Singaporean, referring to a period of time as last winter, next spring, in summer or fall semester is almost unnatural. Life as we know it, is mostly referred to by months and years, i.e. last December, next March, in July, 2015 first semester.
I’ve read somewhere before that climate affects human social development and that people living in the tropical regions are typically lazier due to the hot weather. The heat is one thing, but I think another reason is that we have nothing to look forward to in a year. A year is 12 months long, and it is hot all year long, except during monsoon season perhaps. There’s no need for spring cleaning, to put away summer clothes and to bring out the coats. We don’t have the luxury of breaking up the year into quarters and say, “I’ll do X this winter.” It’s a 12-month marathon that we run, instead of four 3-month short sprints.
This was my second time in Hokkaido, with the first being in autumn a few years back. The trip this winter opened my eyes to life with heavy snowfall. A Korean teacher recently asked me out of curiosity if I’ve ever seen falling snow, and rather abashedly, I answered that my first time was earlier this year. The other times, it’s fallen snow. I’m not sure why this was something I felt embarrassed about, but I was.
I can’t decide which is my favourite season, but I am in love with the gentleness of falling snow and the ethereal whiteness. And surprisingly, the harsh winds, the slippery grounds and the bitter cold that most hate makes me feel alive. Well, for now at least.