Lightning or lilacs? I guess I’ve made my choice

Deep in the winter of 1994, I left my New England home and came to Florida. There were a number of reasons for the move. A yearning to live in a tropical climate didn’t even make the list.

butcher 2I’ve learned to embrace this place including the weather; most surprising to me has been how much I’ve come to relish the summer.

I love the sudden winds that bring our afternoon thunderstorms, and gully washers that sweep in from the Everglades and leave behind the sweetest air. I love those thunderstorms so much that just the sound of one approaching makes me hasten to leave wherever I might be and rush outside so I can watch it. (Photo is by renowned Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher.)

I love how every green and growing thing explodes – all at once – as though released from six-months of holding its breath.

I love how quiet and peaceful it is once the winter people leave – and how I can park right in front of the library. Lines disappear in a moment and the annual refrain is heard: “hooray, we can go out to dinner again“.

lilacsThere’s no ice. I’ve never had to scrape a windshield.

But I do miss the smell of  lilacs and the rich velvet of tulips. I’ll always miss those.

10 responses to “Lightning or lilacs? I guess I’ve made my choice

  1. Having lived in Florida and the mid-Atlantic, I’ve noticed differences too. The air in Florida felt different — it was humid, velvety, and comforting in its own way, compared to the air up north.

    Skies are also different. The colors of northern skies are much more vivid than those of skies in the south, perhaps because of the angle that light is hitting the earth.


    • Ahab, I remember once coming home from Vermont mid-summer -when I stepped out of the airport building and took a deep breath of that warm humid enveloping air and loved it, I knew for the first time that this had become my home.


  2. Yes, each place has its own special light and colors, smells, quality of the air and more. Each place is special, and summer in Florida is a lot of what
    Florida is really about. Too bad the snowbirds and tourists miss that part.


  3. Gully washers? In Florida-talk that would be frog-stranglers!


    • Uh oh, Pat. You know I hate to get a word wrong! Are you of the Palmetto State too? (Are you perhaps .. . someone I know?)


      • Grew up right up the road from you, in Bradenton… But it was my husband (5th generation Floridian) who talked the talk…. like the road after a frog-strangler might be slick as snake snot. 🙂


  4. But then again, the air is perfumed with lilacs this week, wild roses next week, then honeysuckle, then some other scent. Daffodils, then tulips, then peonies, and in June – roses, roses, roses. Too many shades of green to count, constant migration of birds. How can I leave?


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