- Reneem Dwaik
Creative: Why I don’t wear Jackets in Winter
Updated: Feb 18
I think it’s a human instinct to want that which you don’t currently have.
During summer, I pine for winter. A few weeks into the cold rainy weather, I daydream about swimming pools, warm sand and iced tea. When I was a kid, they told us we would get sick if we ate ice cream during winter. Ice cream is to cool down during those hot summer evenings. Sitting outside on the balcony immersed with a tiny dosage of summer breeze and a cool milky chocolate lump slides down your throat. Don’t eat too fast, you'll get a brain freeze.
Ice-cream is not for winter.
Scarves and knitted sweaters in different shades of yellow and leafy-green have their season too.
They told us plants need autumn to get rid of the past and start anew. They also suggested dressing in season, brown, burgundy and even purple not bright red never pink or white. White doesn’t absorb heat like dark colors, and thus, it’s appropriate attire for summer. As if summer comes with rules when you have thunderstorms in the northern hemisphere in late August.
White is easily dirtied when you are putting off wildfires.
I like to jump over falling leaves and hear the crunch. The crumbling sound goes through my body and settles in front of my nose: the smell of dying leaves.
I wonder if you do the same.
When the leaves get muddied and dusty, and the dry fall wind peels off my skin one molecule at a time, I used to conjure images of rain until the sky hears me out.
Raincoats. I had a black one that I wore every day in winter until I outgrew it. I never took it off, not even in class. I never needed to. I used to hear the rain. It was the lullaby that put me to sleep. My dad told me the other day, he can’t hear the rain anymore, not even when it is pouring, and a memory of me sneaking out of the house to run under the rain began to fade.
My brother’s green jacket that I wore and passed it on later to my younger brother as rags hung in my mind next to the image of my new navy jacket I bought last ‘season’ on sale that I never wore. I never need to anymore. A hoodie or jumper is enough. More as a courtesy to what once used to be a cold month.
November, where lately the skies are always clear. Summer white clouds have settled in instead of gray ones, and I wonder what will happen to the forty days of freezing winter? Marab’ania my dad calls just as his mother did, referring to the freezing five weeks early in the year where we beg summer to come sooner and sun rays to shine.
Last year it only lasted three weeks. I counted. 21 days. Is there a word for it?
I would ask my grandmother, but the last time I saw her, she told me not to hang wet clothes outside to dry because it’s going to rain.
Rainless winters have become a thing. Last year's drought might have been my favorite yet! My clothes can sunbathe till the end of December, then I can wear my yellowed white shirts in winter.
Rain, just like me on foggy days, has developed a fondness for procrastination. It likes to skip over deadlines and falls behind a month or two, leaving poppies to bloom in July rather than May.
Months with seasons like this won’t make sense to my brother who lives in Australia. I wonder if summer there is endless too?
Have you ever whistled back at the wind? It used to crack my brother up. I would purposely leave the window open slightly to hear the wailing of the wind. I'd pretend to fight back, and just when I was about to win, my mother would shut it completely.
Surfing through my brain, I see things in structure. Seasons bookmark my stories. And I wonder what will happen to my memories when I completely lose track of the seasons?