11 April 2008

A Cold Start

We're still a ways from this:

However, today was the first day since, maybe, last September that I had to keep my shirt on for my morning run in these hills:

Most of the run anyway. Well, at least the first twenty minutes of my run. Still. That's saying quite a bit. I seem to operate on the hot side of the temperature gauge so cold mornings feel much, much better to me. As does an open window at night for most of the year. And a fan.

It's been cloudy all day. And that's sayin' something. As far as I can tell there are two seasons here in Chile's Central Zone: a long, tiresome summer, and a short but intense winter. There are bits of change on the outskirts of those seasons--like today--that signify a slow turn of events. Otherwise the summer is like a giant ocean swell that starts somewhere on the other side of Guam. It moves, slowly, for several months maintaining about the same speed and shape. It crests just this side of Hawaii without anyone ever really noticing until it finally hits the beach as a tired, old ripple. Day to day there is little variation: cool (thankfully) in the morning and evening and quite warm most of the day. No clouds. Little wind. Dry.

A day like today says it'll soon be over. Then we'll move into winter. Same bright sunny days, only cooler. And then it will happen. A good two- or three-day storm will dump upwards of two meters (about 6.5 feet) of snow in the mountains. And that's how it all starts. From there the next three to four months will follow about the same way: bright, sunny days for a couple weeks on end followed by a 2-3 day storm fury. Then bright, sunny days again.

Of course that's mountain weather. Down here in Santiago the sludge is already building. The thick, gray paste that some refer to as "air" and that we will be forced to breathe for the next few months will linger. This will blow briefly away when the said furies kick up a little wind with their arrivals and departures. It is a struggle.

The mountains and all the white stuff make a nice air filter, though.


Here's to wishful thinking:

Chris Harford: Blanket Of Snow.mp3 (Website, Amazon)
Souled American: Six Feet Of Snow.mp3 (My Space, GEMM options, Amazon options)
Galaxie 500: Listen, The Snow Is Falling.mp3 (Head Full of Wishes info, Amazon)

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow.mp3 (Website, Amazon)

And perhaps the chilliest of the snow songs (Nick Cave's got nuthin' on Dillard): Dillard Chandler: Cold Rain And Snow.mp3 (Smithsonian Folkways, Amazon)

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