Snow Problem

The sun was shining and the mercury rose, so I shoveled a spot on the deck and dragged out a bench to sit on. Robins and cardinals worked the trees. The branches of the yews flopped in the breeze. I closed my eyes for a minute and tried to hear the sounds that normally live in the background. My arms prickled in the warmth of my sun spot.

“Looks like bad weather this weekend,” my wife said. She meant that it’s getting warm, rainy even, and that’s bad for the snow on the mountain and bad for our plans to ski.

“I’m ready for this winter to be over,” my mom said. She’s sick of the cold and gray. Every flake that falls now compounds her misery. Every sunny day lifts her spirits.

Like all the other humans, I’ve spent a lot of cycles wishing for different weather, and accepted the folksy wisdom that, “There’s nothing wrong with the weather, but there might be something wrong with your coat.”

Our obsession with and failure to understand the weather makes me think of our mania for pattern recognition. What role does wishing play in our inability to accurately forecast the weather, our inability to disbelieve the capriciousness of cold, wind, snow and heat? Catastrophe theory tells us that patterns sometimes don’t hold, even if we are engaged in our best magical thinking.

By the Doctrine of Radical Acceptance, we are bound to deal with whatever weather, and by extension whatever climate, happens to happen. You gotta dance with the date you brung, so to speak.