Confusion of mind, body, season, time

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time in glorious New Zealand/Aotearoa. It’s long been favourite country, but those sojourns are also probably the reason I never managed to learn another language… just acquired a bit of an accent (temporarily).

One thing I can’t remember in retrospect is whether my mind and body cried out “what the heck is going on?” as I lived through seasons in an unexpected order – leaving the end of a UK summer to start an NZ spring, for example. Even though living in Rome I’m still (obviously) in the same hemisphere, my mind and body are feeling very confused by the seasonality, amongst other things.

My northern European mind and body are currently confused by March weather that basically feels like an English summer at its best, with blazing sunshine and temperatures passing the mid-20s. Perversely, I have some deep-seated longing for some rain and grey skies – but hey, not too much. As I previously wrote, I’m also – consciously – pre-emptively freaking out about how hot it’ll be here in summer proper.

It’s not only the weather that’s confusing me though – at the end of the summer last year, when it finally cooled down for autumn around November, wild or waste areas near where I live started sprouting vigorously with fresh ground cover plants, notably with looks like alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum). And daffodils flowered in the space in front of our flat. It felt more like spring than Autumn. Adding to the confusion I was feeling, the large plane trees nearby didn’t lose their foliage till December.

To confuse things even more, the clocks changed this weekend too. And we decided to switch bedroom. Throwing me, myself, I, my conscious and my unconscious, even more. I’m amazed I managed to pass the night without injury, scrabbling around at gawd knows what hour for a torch, avoiding unfamiliar (and decidedly hefty) furniture in unfamiliar locations, and remembering to turn left, not right when I left the bedroom, with the desired destination the bathroom, not the bottom of the cellar stairs, in a bruised, crumpled heap.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of confusion, here’s a blend that tickled me: went to a café, in Portuense in Rome. The café had an Indian name, Shiva; had a sign outside in Portuguese; and the guy beside us was hanging out with his Siberian husky. Now there’s a creature who must feel even more innately confused in mind and body than me living through a Roman summer.

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