We in the north have learned to deal with the cold, the gloom, the ice and snow over the many years of living here. To those who are in warmer climates, it might be puzzling as to just why we stay and tolerate less-than-ideal weather conditions for so many months of the year.
The reasons are varied:
- We like the change of seasons.
- We have family here.
- We have jobs here.
- It's too expensive to relocate.
- We like to complain.
It does give us a break from the garden and for those of us that are a bit obsessed with ours, we need that break, whether we think we do or not. This winter has been one that's all over the weather map, with thunderstorms, high winds, snow, sleet, freezing rain, blizzards, and fog. The result of some of that has been flooding and power outages for some of us. Never a dull moment!
Think about this . . . what would winter be like if we didn't have some extreme weather to look forward to? Day after day of gray, brown, cloudy, depressing weather, with a few sunny days peppered here and there. Bo-r-r-r-ing. So sometimes, strange as it may seem, we get a bit excited over what the weather forecasters like to call A Weather Event.
Right now, I'm reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. It's been recommended reading for me for quite a few months now, and when I saw it on the shelf at Walmart last week, I picked it up. I started reading it last night and in the very first chapter, there's a perfect explanation of how we northerners are when A Weather Event is forecast.
There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and share in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.
Of course, it is also true that storms interrupt business and, while a few companies make a bit extra, some companies lose money - meaning there are those who find no joy when everything shuts down temporarily. But they can't blame anyone for their loss of production, or for not being able to make it to the office. Even if it's hardly more than a day or two, somehow each person feels like the master of his or her own world, simply because those little droplets of water freeze as they hit the ground.
Even commonplace activities become extraordinary. Routine choices become adventures and are often experienced with a sense of heightened clarity.
Wm. Paul Young has been there. He gets it. He could never explain it in such an accurate way unless he'd experienced it.
I'm sure the southerners have their own counterparts to these northern natural events, especially those who live in California or other areas that experience earthquakes. Though relatively commonplace for some, it still provides a bit of drama to their days.
We're having A Little Weather Event here today. This is one of a slightly different sort, but the resulting feelings inside us are much the same. We are having what I call "a teaser day." The thermometer on the bank just outside Walmart read 51° at 1:00 this afternoon. The average high for this date is 25°.
The sun was peeking out for a little while and though it was a bit windy, it was still much, much warmer than it was just a couple of days ago. We saw people shedding their heavy winter coats and walking around in just sweatshirts and sweaters topping their jeans. The sheer numbers of people out and about was an indication of The Event, too. The fresh air smelled so good.
These days put a smile on our faces because they are the sign of things to come. The teaser days will occur more frequently from now on - melting snow and softening the frozen layer of soil blanketing the land. Oh, we'll have more snow and maybe even A Weather Event or two, but spring is on the way!