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‘It makes such a difference!’

Updated: Jan 30

A fellow mum and I were exchanging pleasantries in the park the other day. Making small talk about the age of our children, which school they went to, how tall they are for their age… etcetera, etcetera.

The conversation was all bouncing along quite nicely, when I ventured to make a passing compliment about the lovely weather we were having that day.

At this point, and in perfect synchronicity, we both lauded:

‘It makes such a difference doesn’t it!?’

We laughed, surprised and amused in equal measure by our ‘snap’ moment!

As the day went on, I thought back often to this moment, and the unspoken meaning behind this all-too-popular trope!

‘It makes such a difference…’ to what, exactly?

Nobody ever really elaborates, other than to claim how much easier everything is (more generalisations), but somehow, we still manage to relate!

We understand the observation, not in spite of the vagueness.. but maybe because it it!

The sun and blue skies - they do indeed make a difference, but it’s a commonly appreciated truth, that this is often in more ways than can reasonably be translated into acceptable, playground discourse.

Equally, there’s the additional explanatory obstacle, that we often don’t know ourselves, where the specific itch was, that the blue sky has since scratched!

Was it in the constantly flagging energy levels… now somehow restored?

The heavy-footedness… now replaced with that sunshine ‘spring’?

The perpetual brain fog, which always miraculously seems to lift, the moment the sun decides to put its hat on?

More than likely, that much talked-about ‘difference’ (the distinctive 'blue sky buoyancy') owes to a combination of all of the above. The net result of something so cellular and complex, that it is perhaps never better explained, than with the universal language of clichés and connotations!

Over the last few winters, I've learned just how reliable a source of common ground this phenomena is, and how trusty a fall-back it is for when all other small-talk topics have been exhausted.

One thing, however, is that the power of 'such a difference' only works in the context of an otherwise bleak weather landscape. In summer, you'll scarcely hear these words uttered, since familiarity makes the effect less palpable.

In the depths of winter, however, a rogue glorious day is a unique form of social currency. A force for wellness which owes as much to the kinship so quietly and fleetingly cultivated as we go about our business, as it does to the physical and psychological respite a bit of bone-warming sunshine can bring!

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