Shortly before departing for a stay in Ireland, I read online that thin women think differently from overweight women. Thin women don’t consider hunger a permanent condition, so they don’t eat every time they’re hungry. They figure, “If I don’t eat now, I’ll eat later.”
Overweight women, the article said, have a different reaction. When they’re hungry, they eat.
I thought of this often during my stay in County Galway. Not about food. About the weather. Nothing is less permanent than the weather in the west of Ireland.
I might wake up to a gloriously sunny day. Before I finished breakfast, it would pour down rain, clear off and cloud up again — or all these things in reverse order. If it wasn’t raining at midday, I’d gather my cap, water bottle, keys, camera and umbrella to go out for a walk. But before I could change into my sneakers, it would be raining again.
In Texas, we have a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute; it’ll change.”
In Ireland, it’s “wait a second.”
So I’d wait, then set out, hoping to finish my walk or run my errands before another rain shower blew in from the Atlantic. I’d worry, “What if I get wet? What if I’m cold?”
I’ve been wet before. I’ve been cold. Those situations have never lasted too long. (After all, I live in Texas.)
Sure enough, in Ireland, I’d get wet, but seldom soaked. I’d be cold, but not excessively so. I’d remind myself: “It isn’t a permanent condition.”
Despite many delightful experiences, there were times I was lonely, homesick, tired of being on my own in another country.
I kept telling myself: “It isn’t a permanent condition.”
But then, in this mortal experience, nothing is.