Talking About the Weather

Groundhog day was just a few days ago.  21st Century meteorological marvels are at our fingertips, and yet we rely on a single groundhog who, by the way, gets prime time on the national news to predict the winter’s future!  We are a funny people!

Groundhog day is the talk of the town! And truth is that a casual conversation on any given day in Maine will eventually turn to, “the weather.”  It’s too cold, too warm, too much snow, not enough snow, what about the rain, where’s the sun, how about that wind last night, and how long is this going to last...all topics that will enliven any wait in a grocery store check out or even at the Starbucks pickup window.  

What is at the root of our obsession over weather, and more importantly, why are we never satisfied with the weather of the moment?  Perhaps this hyper focus emerges from our history as an agricultural people. Mindfulness of current weather, divining the future weather, and attention to the Earth’s cycles were all necessities and critical to a successful planting, harvesting, birthing of young animals, and ultimately to the matters of life or death.  Our ancestors did not complain about weather; they worked with the weather that showed up that day!

Aren’t all manifestations of weather still necessary for life on the planet and, by extension, for each of our lives and that of all living Beings?   I muse about the expression that there are two things in life that are guaranteed: life and taxes. When in fact we would be more accurate in saying there are three things in life that are guaranteed: death, taxes, and changing weather.  

How boring, and by the way very short, would life be in all its forms on Earth if our weather were static?  Every day the same…perfect sun, ideal temperature, no clouds, no shade, no breeze, no precipitation, no water, no change, and therefore, no life.   Definitively we should focus on the weather every day, but not as a topic of idle conversation. The weather is the envelope that keeps life on Earth assembled in a nice package.  Weather touches our skin every day; none of us experiences any greater tactile intimacy from birth to death than what we do with weather. Let’s honor her however she shows up today, tomorrow and every day!  Maybe her hair is messy and she’s sporting lots of mud and grit…so what! None of us is perfect, thank goodness! And if you must, go ahead and celebrate Groundhog Day and the predictions from this oversized marmot; but, please don’t complain about what he has to say!