November 2010 has, thus far, lulled me into a false sense of complacency. Last year, November yielded not one sunny day. It was the single most depressing month of weather I had ever witnessed - and I'm bearing in mind a five-month stint in London in 2001 where I counted four completely rain free days. Swedish family and friends have told me that November is the generally the most depressing month of the year weather-wise. So this year I have joyfully welcomed the daily dose of cool, southerly November sun and I have walked and/or run over half of this beautiful city during the last week trying to absorb enough vitamin D to sustain me during the coming months of darkness. I even showed up for a lunch last Friday in my running clothes because I couldn't resist the urge to make my way there and home on foot.
Today November, "the real November" (as I have taken to calling it) returned. At times like this, I wish that I were half the photographer that our friend Alex C. is because words cannot adequately describe the weather in Stockholm. Our building sits next to a normally calm lake and most days we have a clear view from our living room window across the water to Tantolunden, a cute section of Södermalm dotted with tiny cottages and lots of greenery. Today, the view from our living room window brought to mind the intro sequence from episodes of Deadliest Catch. Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but I still blinked several times to make sure that my eyes were not deceiving me. There were breaking waves. On a lake. The fierce winds drove the freezing rain and snow in every direction, such that I could not distinguish between heavy precipitation and fog, much less the direction from which it was coming. One moment it snowed. The next it rained. I sensed that the comfortable fall weather was duking it out with old man winter somewhere in the troposphere - and losing.
I know winter is coming. The story is as predictable as an episode of Scooby Doo. Yet, contrary to what my grey mood today may indicate, I'm looking forward to the season of brisk, dry air and blinding white snow. It's the transition from one season to the next that I dread. So, grudgingly I welcome November. May it leave as quickly as it came.