My recent escape from the Albertan cold to the heat of Palm Springs was a real delight in many ways. Of course the first pleasure was to experience summer warmth again, after weeks of freezing temperatures and snow fall. It amazed me how quickly a person can become accustomed to a black and white world. The brilliance of lush greenery was a real shock to my senses, making me consider how little time had really past since I had enjoyed summer and its abundance. Is the cycle of seasons so ingrained our seasonal memory can be replaced so quickly?
In no time I was back to ‘summer’ mode, lying poolside, walking in T-shirt & shorts and drinking cooling drinks. Hiking along the canyon listening to the burbling water, I wanted to splash through it to ease my over heated skin, far removed from the news from home of heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures.
The most jarring spectacle was seeing Christmas decorations emblazoned on palm trees and their shimmering light bouncing off lawns glistening with water. Homes were festooned with white and coloured lights, Christmas trees stood in living room windows but their reflections came from swimming pools and green lawns. It just didn’t ‘feel’ like Christmas, somehow it wasn’t right.
I soon became accustomed to the sound of automated irrigation sprays the means by which, this oasis of green maintains its lushness, albeit ‘fake’. It is only a short drive before the arid and seemingly barren landscape is found surrounding the city. However, if you walk slowly and quietly you will find treasurers, such as tiny lizards, multi-coloured butterflies and iridescent humming-birds populating the sharp twisted bushes and cacti. There is beauty in any landscape you just have to look.
On my return to Alberta I experienced +20 degrees on take-off and -20 degrees on arrival after a short three hour flight – now that’s an unwelcome shock to the system! Obviously at that moment I longed for the heat but for a proper Christmas, home does have the snowy wonderland look as well as some awesome winter visitors.
Do you prefer the winter wonderland or the tropical escape for your festival?