Nothing says "welcome back" like the chance of 3 feet of snow in New York City. Most of you already know, but my time in California has ended, and I am back in the great city of New York, Brooklyn to be precise.
When I told everyone in California I was moving back to New York--in January, no less--I got a whole lot of, "Are you crazy?", responses. And promises that I'd be regretting my decision as soon as I had that first taste of winter.
Well, I've been here three weeks now, and I can honestly say: I've missed you, winter.
Here's the thing about having mild, perfect weather all the time. There is no progression of time, no outward marking of change. A friend told me once that an artist friend of hers spent ten unproductive years in California, and got his act together when he went back to more traditional seasons. While I believe that writers and artists can work anywhere (I wrote all of my upcoming novel in San Francisco, in fact), I do think there's a lot to be said about experiencing the ups and downs of the weather, winter included.
There is something wonderfully contemplative about staying in the house, watching movies and reading, messing around on the computer and knowing not only that you are not going to do anything else, but that even if you wanted to, it would be impossible. There is something inherently productive about being snowed in. Even if you don't hit your word counts or start that new idea, there is a mental pause that is absolutely necessary as you get ready for whatever it is you're going to do next.
California was full of endless sunny, wonderful, lovely days. It was filled with hiking and biking and drinking wine and eating really good, really local food. But there's something inspiring about sitting in a room, watching the snow fall down, and knowing that you only really have access to mental entertainment.
So here's to winter--and a few forced snow days--I hope everyone stays warm and safe indoors!