All those lovely photos of crocus buds and cherry blossoms online remind me that I’ve been meaning to write about Thailand’s seasons. Yes, it’s easy to forget that Thailand actually experiences a change in seasons, since it’s generally hot year round. But after living here for a while, you realize that seasons do exist, however subtle the distinctions.
Officially, Thailand experiences the “cool” season, from around November to February, the “hot” season from March to June, and from July to October, the rainy season. Unofficially, the seasons, at least in Bangkok, go more like this: hot, hot and wet, and really freakin’ hot.
For the first few years, this is all I really noticed, the cycle of heat so pervasive, I forgot what it felt like to wear a sweater, forgot the smell of fallen leaves, and the feel of a crisp autumn air (can you tell what my favorite season is?).
Then somewhere along the way, I started paying attention. I learned there was a time of year when the mangoes grew ripe on the tree. There was a time when the locusts in the palms would sing, a time when the mosquitoes proliferated, and a time when the golden shower tree (yes, that’s the name) bloomed.
Time and again I vowed to start tracking more of these happenings in nature. I vowed to pay better attention and gather more signs that change, the cycle of the seasons, happened even amidst the heat and traffic and chaos of Bangkok.
But as often happens, life got in the way over these years. Sometimes I paid attention, sometimes I did not. I still can’t tell you when exactly the bougainvillea bloom or when the teak trees lose their leaves. I can’t say for sure when durian season starts or when tamarind season ends.
But I paid attention when I remembered to and all the photos of crocus buds and cherry blossoms in other parts of the world remind me to start trying again.
Each spring, a new beginning awaits for many of us. But a new beginning can occur at any time, whenever we remember to pay attention, whenever we remember that everywhere—no matter where we live—the world turns and the cycle begins anew.
What signs of the seasons have you noticed in your neighborhood?