Highs & Lows in the Land of Eternal Spring

One day last week as my daughter and I left her house here in New Jersey, the sky was blue with a few puffy clouds and the temperature was in the mid-60s. “Isn’t the weather great today?,” she asked. As I thought, “Like pretty much every day at home,” I cheerily answered, “Sure is!”

Autumn came unseasonably late to its own party this year. Finally, only days before our return to Ecuador, arrival of the anticipated spectacle of red, yellow, and orange foliage was in full swing. And glorious it was.

Cynthia and I have always loved this particular season. Growing up in the stifling summer heat and humidity of the South, we still remember the first cool September wisp of a breeze that signalled relief was on the way.

Shorts and sandals would soon give way to sweaters and corduroy. Football games–the unique aroma from a carpet of fallen leaves–fresh-picked local apples–there’s a lot to enjoy in these few short months before the frostiness of winter arrives.

We said goodbye to all of this when we boarded the plane to return home. For while there’s plenty to like about the “Land of Eternal Spring,” as Cuenca is sometimes called, the change of seasons isn’t one of them.

Overall our weather has only minor variations all year. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the 50s are the norm. While in the States I read about a “heat advisory” being issued here because a high of 77 degrees was expected. Horrors!

The grass is always green. Flowers are always blooming. A 365-day growing season means local fresh produce is always available.

As wonderful as our weather sounds from afar, especially when you’re shivering or sweating bullets in the extremes of winter and summer, you may be surprised to know that springtime all the time takes some getting used to.

Why? Think about it. That cool breeze in September or out-of-nowhere warm day in March gives you something to look forward to. Hooray! The heat or cold will soon be over!

Here it’s like Groundhog Day. Cloudy, sunny, rainy, and windy happen (often in the same day) but temps rarely wander outside their boundaries. Heck, our news shows don’t even have a weather segment!

On the one hand that minimizes your wardrobe budget. Some jeans, long sleeve cotton shirts, lightweight sweaters, and a jacket are all you need. We leave our heavy coats in a closet at our daughter’s house since they’re bulky to pack and we would never wear them here anyway.

But choosing from those same clothes day after week after month after year can get tiresome. We usually buy something new to wear during visits. Not to replace worn out items but because we’re sick of looking at the same damn things every time we open the closet. Which pretty much sums up the biggest downside with this whole “eternal spring” scene:


Funny, isn’t it? As much as many people avoid change in their lives, predictable change like the coming and going of seasons is happily embraced. We laugh at folks up north in early and still very chilly March frolicking around with shorts on like it’s summer when the first “not miserable” days come around.

Changes in climate, crops, and clothing are not part of our world in Ecuador. I think the unconscious reason we have so many festivals and holidays here is to create some kind of markers to note the passage of time. Otherwise this day in November looks and feels pretty much like all the ones in March and August.

Don’t interpret these musings as complaining. If I had to choose one season to live in all the time, I’d pick spring over the other three every time. Which is exactly what we did!

Cynthia and I are blessed to travel back and forth visiting family often enough that, as in the just-completed trip, we get to experience a delectable taste of the seasons. Then as our friends and family are gearing up for frigid winters or blistering summers, we return to our personal version of paradise.

Monotonous? Sometimes. Miserable? Never. Comfortable? Always.

Life is good. Be happy!

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