There is weather on the day you are born
and weather on the day you die. There is
the year of drought, and the year of floods,
when everything rises and swells,
the year when winter will not stop falling,
and the year when summer lightning
burns the prairie, makes it disappear.
There are the weathervanes, dizzy
on top of farmhouses, hurricanes
curled like cats on a map of sky:
there are cows under the trees outlined
in flies. There is the weather that blows
a stranger into town and the weather
that changes suddenly: an argument,
a sickness, a baby born
too soon. Crops fail and a field becomes
a study in hunger; storm clouds
billow over the sea;
tornadoes appear like the drunk
trunks of elephants. People talking about
weather are people who don’t know what to say
and yet the weather is what happens to all of us:
the blizzard that makes our neighborhoods
strange, the flood that carries away
our plans. We are getting ready for the weather,
or cleaning up after the weather, or enduring
the weather. We are drenched in rain
or sweat: we are looking for an umbrella,
a second mitten; we are gathering
wood to build a fire.
~Faith Shearin “Weather” from Orpheus, Turning.
On the planet the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades…
Lick a finger, feel the now.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
I’m still discovering, right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing, we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer from The Cost of Discipleship
Never before in the history of humanity have we had the ability to pull the weather forecast out of our pocket and know not only what to anticipate in the next 24 hours, but what is happening right now. Prior to phone apps, we scanned the skies, checked the barometer, monitored the thermometer, and put a licked finger up to test the wind direction. As obsolete as those measures seem now, I confess they still make sense to me.
It’s surreal if my phone says it is raining at “my location” and I can’t find a single cloud.
I want to know what is happening around me from my own observation, trust my own eyes, feel my own physical response to the heat, the cold, the dry, the wet. I want to know we’re all in this together, right now.
I want to live completely in this world, living now, finger held to the wind. Then, having the information I need, I throw myself completely into the arms of God.
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