It’s a Hoodie Day. The sky is overcast and the huge waves I see in the distance will come crashing onto the beach. The little birds I call shore runners are nowhere to be seen. There has been hurricane activity elsewhere in the Caribbean region and the ocean’s distress, that I see, is the result coming our way. We are not in the direct line but I am sure we will have rain and a lot of wind.
It’s the time of year when the hurricane season wanes, and we can begin to relax and recover from the oppressive heat of the summer months. Being near the ocean helps. A short walk down to the beach can provide a respite if the temperature and humidity is very high. For those of us who live here year around we always feel a huge relief when the weather changes to what we know as fall and winter here.
This morning the fresh breeze is pleasing as I walk. A couple of motoconchos (motorcycle taxis) pass me and the drivers are wearing their hooded sweatshirts; they feel cold. Having lived here for such a long time I feel the cold too. I find myself making soup, and other “stick to the ribs” meals as I did in my former life in a northern climate.
Tourists who come here to vacation in the winter are always amazed at seeing the locals wearing clothes more suited, they think, for a more northern climate. For vacationers the climate is a welcome relief from the cold of the northern winter. They swim in the ocean while the locals look on with wonder that the tourists do not feel the cold of the water at this time. I wonder how much of this difference in feeling, for both tourists and locals, is due to assumed perception.
My memories of the fall season in the north include the obligatory storage of summer clothing and lawn furniture when September and Labour Day arrived, even though a period of warm weather we called indian summer always happened. Into storage went all the bright, warm coloured clothing of summer to be replaced with the greys, browns, and blacks of the serious wearables perceived to be more suitable for the winter months. On one of my yearly stays in the north I had arrived somewhat earlier than usual to be able to attend a wedding. I mentioned to a friend that I planned to wear white slacks as part of my wedding attire. There was a response of concern that it was a week too early before the 24th of May weekend when summer wear would be appropriate. I wore the white slacks.
Today is not quite a “hoodie day” for me but as our fall and winter here progresses I too will wear a “hoodie” as the temperature and activity demands but it is a bright orange one, no serious blacks or greys for me.