Gloomy Weather, Gloomy Music, Gloomy Me
My favorite time of year is autumn through winter. I have lived in the Chicago area my entire life, and I intensely dislike the heat of summer. I like being cool and sometimes even cold. So, when the daily weather begins to cool in October and becomes colder in November, I am happy. The sometimes extremely bitter cold of winter during December through February can be rough, but I usually don’t mind it much. I’ll take it to the dreadful summer heat any day.
I also generally dislike sunshine and clear blue skies. Perhaps I am part vampire. My maternal grandmother came from the Carpathian Mountains of southern Poland (the same mountain chain that extends into Count Dracula’s Transylvania). I prefer the sky to be cloudy, overcast, and gray or black. I tend to have a somewhat depressed, gloomy, and pessimistic personality. That’s just the way I have always been. When the dark appearance of the sky matches my dark attitude, I feel comfortable. Gloominess makes me happy.
That’s why I enjoy listening to “doom,” “death,” or “funeral” metal music, such as the music of the Australian band Mournful Congregation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_afxESolG1U. I also love the sounds of the organ and the harpsichord. My favorite genre of movies is horror. And there is no better fiction than the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe.
Yes, give me a cold dark cloudy day, maybe with some light rain or snow, rumbles of thunder… play some doom metal… have a creepy old horror movie on TV… or let me go for a walk in the forest on such a beautifully gloomy dark day… bare trees, dark skies, the calls of crows, chickadees, nuthatches…. and I am a satisfied man.
Do you think this is weird, strange, bizarre, troubling?? You probably do, if you are a conventional kind of person, who probably favors bright sunny skies, 90-degree weather, and fun at the beach. But I am an unconventional person, in many different way. I always go my own, unusual way, apart from the majority. I have known this since I was five years old. That was 56 years ago. I have not fought it. Rather, I have embraced it. This is who I am. I like it.
Another reason I prefer autumn and winter is that these are much more relaxing times of the year, compared to spring and summer. In spring and summer, there are too many chores and worries, especially for a homeowner—cutting grass, pulling weeds, dealing with invading ants, home repairs, threats of severe storms and tornadoes, with potential house damage… and sweating in the damn hot sun. How could anyone enjoy that? It has always been puzzling to me.
During autumn and winter, there is more time for, and I feel more in the mood for, self-contemplation and bursts of creativity. I would rather spend my time being creative—writing, drawing, playing music—than doing yard work! And there is more time for reading. I also like to use the extra available personal time during the cooler months to get more of my freelance writing and editing work done. I can be much more productive during autumn and winter than during spring and summer.
And I love watching the falling snow. The only time that snow is a problem is during the generally rare heavy snowstorm. I can easily deal with that, either with my snow shovel (good exercise) or my Toro.
Moreover, the daytime of the warmer months lasts too long, and the nighttime is too short. I love the night! I like gazing at the stars and the moon. I also sometimes enjoy spending my nights at certain nightclubs (with my sexy lady friends) or at bars (with my wine or whiskey). I feel much more alive at night than during the daytime! Probably another effect of my Slavic vampire heritage.
Today, October 29, 2021, in Lockport, Illinois, is my kind of early afternoon. It is currently 54 degrees outside, with a cold wind. The sky is completely overcast and light gray. There is a light cold rain.
I would prefer a colder temperature, a darker sky, and light snow rather than light rain. But I know that my ideal day will soon come. I have many colder, darker, and gloomier days to look forward to in November, December, January, and February.
My good days will begin to end sometime around late March, when the weather starts to noticeably warm. By mid-April, my good days will be pretty much over. By May, I start counting the months until October comes back. By July, I am thoroughly miserable. Oh, I enjoy the horror-movie-like thunderstorms of spring and summer. But I worry about severe storms and tornadoes damaging my home (it has happened before), so that tempers my enjoyment.
Regardless of the season, I thank Mother Nature—the Great Goddess of World Creation and Natural Sustenance—for Her dark gloomy days and long starry nights. They bring me joyful melancholy.
Here is my own contribution to the doom metal genre: