You may have thought that space was the last frontier, but I would posit that it is weather. Every day we plan, analyze, prepare, study and predict it. What will I do when I get out there? How will I handle it? It’s at the edge of what we know. And then every day we put on our space suit and embrace it, one way or another. And where I live in New York, it’s always different! If a frontier is the edge of the unknown where there are no set rules, well that’s the weather!
And it may be unpredictable, but if you have eyes and skin, it is hard to be actually deluded about it, unless you’re from California. I’m from that sunshine state and so have never learned to put my mittens on when it is below freezing. Some ten-year old part of me still expects it to be a balmy 70 degrees every day that I walk out from the house, and for it to stay that way until sometime in late December when it might rain a few drops for a month or so. My John Wayne attitude about snow and mittens follows a direct line from the fact that in Southern California there were no such things. Sissies wore gloves and snow was cocaine.
Now, as an Easterner, I bore everyone with the phenomenon of weather. “Did you see how cold it is out there? The dogs are sticking to the sidewalks!” People smile smugly, maybe raise an eyebrow and think to themselves, “Fucking Californian.”
You would think that the weather casters would help. My wife listens to the weather report on our local newscast. But you have to take the messenger into consideration. It can be completely different, depending on who you’re watching.
Liberal media says go out without a coat to feel what ten below really feels like. Have empathy for the homeless who have to endure these temperatures without hot chocolate and marsh mellows. You know the ones with the little red sugar sparkles on them that make the already sweet drink just that much sweeter, and don’t forget the white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies that we’re eating here on camera, just to show you that bad weather can be good.
Conservative media says turn up the heat to a comfortable 82 degrees and don’t use the bathroom next to the mud room, I have to get my contractor to fix the frozen pipes problem we always have when it gets this cold, but one of the other 35 bathrooms should be fine.
Social media asks how many likes the cloud that is shaped like a whale has and should we count the likes for the same cloud once it turned into a ship with cannons.
Local media shows commercials for new Big Pharma drugs you could take to make you feel warm enough to smile in a cold snap but not warm enough to prevent frostbite.
Russian media says the weather warmed up to ten below today. Schools reopened.
So, if you’re from California and live in the east or are just naturally weather deluded, do what I do. Just get out there and take a walk in it, preferably naked. That’s right. Take your clothes off and get out there. When you do, you will receive sensations on your skin. You will breathe. Your eyes will open wide. This is no video game. This is the real world sending you messages and you are a part of it. Now start skipping. That will help. You might sing a little ditty as you skip. That’s it. Now you’re really alive! Don’t be embarrassed. This isn’t California. And life is nothing to be embarrassed by.
Now reflect on this. You couldn’t do this without a body. And by the way, how did you get this body? You don’t really know, do you? You’ve just always had it. It seems that everywhere you turn, there it is. So, it must be a repository of some sort. In fact, it’s a collection. A collection of you. Don’t abuse the privilege. It’s a good collection. It might draw a nice price on Antiques Roadshow. It has problems, yes. But those are there to remind you not to be deluded!
“But I don’t feel well today,” you might say. “I don’t want to strip naked and skip in the weather singing old REM songs.” But this is the challenge that’s been thrown to you, I would say. Get out there and skip. There’s a miracle afoot. Experience it. You have no idea what a part of the universe you are.
Look! A flake of snow! Do you know that flake was made in a little cloud five to ten miles South, Southeast of Minneola and was kept on ice for you until this moment? That frozen air mass? It was released from the ice cream freezer when Jeremy left the door open on Midland Avenue after he finally found the orange sherbet he was looking for and will be your constant companion until just after you cross Summit Street when you will sneeze and blow it to Ontario.
And where did that that warm breeze come from that is suddenly caressing your face? It started as a sweet little fart from a baby Beluga in the North Sea, rose to the surface West Southwest of Copenhagen and joined other little freshettes of similar origin somewhere North of Ireland where they fluttered through a Dingle forest and now, so scented, blew across the Atlantic to caress you. Small world, isn’t it?
The butterfly that flutters past you in May will cause the tsunami next March. So beware the weather whatever the whether is. Be amazed!
Or move to California.