Okay. ‘fessing up, however irritating, I admit to being heavily influenced by weather. Any kind. Up or down. Good or bad. Rain or shine. It decides me. Embarrassing in the extreme ‘cuz weather.
I enjoy spring and autumn. Not fond of the other two. Wet and cold are not prime conditions for my temperament. I should be a San Diego girl. By the sea. On the beach. Salt air. Warm sand. Blue skies.
I suppose I idealize San Diego, Santa Barbara, Manhattan Beach because, well, Cleveland! The fave saying here is, re the weather, “Wait five minutes. There will be something you like.” Weather change is ever present, which likely is the reason I lose patience with “climate change” and all the scare tactics that come with those words. Similar to “the sky is falling!” Well. Yes.
To drive the point home to any viewer, this morning on WVIZ, here we are in Indonesia, where there is drought this year, quite different from flooding that occurred five years ago. Read that again. We’re measuring climate change in, what, five year increments? Let’s all migrate to San Diego. That place by the seaside that has a constant temperature and sunny days. Weather Utopia.
Can we get a grip here? Are the Bedouin griping on the Sahara? You know, where it’s blazing hot all day and chattering cold all night. That desert place where there’s sand as far as the eye can see, in every direction. If that’s unappealing, will there be a Bedouin move to get rid of all that gritty, blowing sand?
Here is the point: weather is. It changes. To better understand how it changes is tracked very well across long periods of time. Lots of charts. Lots of awareness. But few of us study those things. It requires the long view. Weather is not about what happens between Monday and Friday with particular attention paid to weekends in the summer on Lake Erie.
If you have survived seven or so decades and live east of the Rockies, likely you owned….and had many occasions to use….a fine sled that was well employed every winter. And like me, if you are short now and were then, snow drifts were higher, and more frequent. You had many days to make snow men, snow balls and chapped cheeks. You played outside. In it. Hot chocolate on the stove was as present as Mama’s coffee pot. Mittens steaming on the radiator hissed and dripped. Like my nose. It was winter, for Pete’s sake. No one whined that climate was changing. That’s what climate does. With any luck, we could count on weather changing to spring. Just wait a bit.
We have had unseasonably warm days through November. Blessedly warm days extending the outside time, never mind that it gets dark sooner. But this morning opened at 27 degrees. Bright sunshine fools the mind, the east windows golden with sunlight. All the roofs across my little pond are frosted and staying that way. I don’t need to consult the thermometer to know that means it is very cold. The pond wears a clear hard skin, its first layer for this season. Morning shimmers across its small expanse, lighting the feathers of the red tail hawk staring, dead still, hoping for a field mouse. The usual collection of birds crowd the feeder, their activity keeping them warm. Industrious chickadees bang the sunflower seeds against the dogwood branches. They bring joy with their presence. The seed level drops before my very eyes. It is a small contribution that brings great pleasure.
Because we have seasonal change, I suppose I have less awareness of perpetual drought, and desert. And high temperatures unrelieved. But why do I feel that those norms for tropical climes are held up as my norm? Changes in climate are very long-term. Making comparisons of then and now are interpreted through the filter of awareness or lack of, age and comprehension….for instance, a heavy snow fall when I was a sledding child felt very different than now, when a small flurry makes me anxious. Then, it was excitement, anticipation, wonderful wetness, beautiful to see. Now? Treacherous, messy- wet. Typing that says “loss”. Did I really enjoy playing in snow that much?