For the past nine years, one of my office windows, the one I faced while sitting at my desk, gave me a wonderful view east and thus I saw many glorious sunrises in northern New Mexico. I am also linked to the weather wunderground (www.wunderground) which gives me sufficient data to know current and future conditions in my immediate area. Or I can check out the weather for any location that interests me or one where I might be while traveling.
Clear sunshine, a dominant feature in New Mexico, varying temperatures, cloudy or not, anticipated precipitation, not nearly enough currently that has resulted in severe fire danger (that was posted most reently), wind velocity and direction – all of this and more at my fingertips. Does it matter in the whole scheme of things? Probably not, but I like being in sync with the weather and consider it a friendly companion, especially when outdoors.
I like Bill Bryson’s quote that there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Weather is what it is and whether or not you subscribe to climate change or whether you complain about it being too cold, too hot, too windy, too dry or too wet, there is nothing you can do to change it but you can make some adjustments whether in clothing or location or even in attitude. You are only stuck where you are if you believe that.
This winter has been hard on many people and some of the southern parts of the U.S. have just suffered what is a bit unusual for them, extreme snow and cold. It’s a result of the polar vortex or the jet stream being farther south than usual and who knows why that is except that some meteorologist somewhere who probably has an explanation. I didn’t bother to look it up.
As many have said, if you don’t like the weather, just wait awhile. It’s bound to change. And, if you like it as it is, then celebrate that by soaking it up whether in sun and surf, on the ski slopes or beaches, on lakes and rivers, in the mountains or the valleys, in the high desert or on the plains, on farms and ranches, in the cities and towns, wherever you are. My conclusion is that weather is a wonderful phenomenon, and being tuned in to it and fully alive with it enriches every day. Even in small ways, the weather adds a dimension of appreciation for the gift of yet another day.
Natural disasters are the exception and thankfully, most often short lived – tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, tsunamis and even a severe drought- all of those test how we both prepare for and respond to extreme weather conditions and events.
I still face east most mornings although no longer in the same place. It’s part of my daily ritual as one who watches the sun and connects with it as I tune up and in for the day ahead. This morning, in the dark before the sunrise, just across the Kansas border in northeastern Oklahoma, I felt a light mist on my face. Sure enough, the forecast says light drizzle this morning. Drizzle and mist? It’s really quite nice especially having come from the very dry, high desert. It is still all about change!