The good side of bad weather

Here in New England, it’s gray and overcast and drizzly today, and some of the colors are starting to change… the swamp maples are showing a hint of autumn red, and the ferns are curling up and turning a dry rusty yellow. It’s a great day to be outside. Under the trees, you can hear raindrops splatter on the dry leaves above. The dampness brings out all the subtle smells and colors of woods and underbrush, and the air feels soft and alive.

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One year in early May, I took a group of college students to sea for a week, exploring the New England coast. It rained every single day, and when we went ashore in the launch, it was windy and choppy and most of them were scared to death. But it was so much more fun and memorable to see Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island in the slow off-season, free of tourists, and to be out in the world when everyone else was still huddled indoors, waiting for bright warm sun. The students complained all week about the weather, but in the end, it was one of their favorite things about the trip.

Travellers too often aim for sunshine and high season. Bad weather, like back roads, can lead to more interesting places.

(Picture by Rhode Island artist Kathy Hodge.)