An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
I was talking to a tech in the lab about how I assumed we would do additional training in the "summer." He looked confused. So I corrected myself assuming that since Kampala is slightly south of the equator I should be specific: "Your winter." He still looked confused.
Patrick finally clued me in: "We don't have seasons."
Now, look, I'm not stupid so I knew being so close to the equator means you have very little observable change as the earth orbits and wobbles, but surely the technicality of summer, winter, fall, and spring are known? And Patrick asked me: "Why would it?"
Ummm...well it's a valid question. Along the equator the concept of seasons is experientially unknown and there is no necessity to identify them from a further unknown sense of technicality.
Seasons were a rhythm we once lived by in times past. Many things in our collective consciousness that we retain about seasons hearken back to our agrarian past...sadly these "traditions" make little sense to our cubicle predestined kids. It spills over into our Church life as well as I'll note.
So we might also ask why would a largely non-agrarian society like our own in America bother anymore to even note the seasons? Particularly in places where they are hardly noticeable? I mean I can see noting them if you need to change your attire to a large degree because of them...but otherwise, what use are their designations to us? And in turn, what use are they to Ugandans, who while being much more agrarian than us, can pretty much grown anything at anytime of the year? Why should THEY note seasons as we understand them?
I once told Patrick that the celebration of Christmas during our winter made a great deal of sense - even if we don't have any idea when Christ was born. I explained how our days change so much and how there is less and less light as we head into winter. He marveled at what this must be like. And I further explained that the celebration of God's incarnation is perfectly timed (pretty much) to coincide with the darkest time of the year. It parallels the hope of the coming spring because afterwards our days start getting longer and longer. I could see he understood by his smile...and he just said "Wow, that is neat."
"That is why," I joked, "everyone should live in the Northern Hemisphere."
He laughed and said, "No, it is far too cold."
It's funny here because one afternoon it will be in the upper 80's and humid and then the next day it will cloud over and plummet down to a bitterly cold 72 at which point people don jackets and complain of the cold. Lately they blame me for this...I simply tell them "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
I'm told Uganda has two seasons: rainy and dry. But EVERYTIME I ask when is the rainy season and when is the dry, I get a different answer. Personally, I think the seasons change here from hour to hour but are identifiable only by whether I am wet from my sweat or from the rain.