This I Believe

Karen - Woodside, New York
Entered on January 2, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: nature


I believe in weather. Something as phenomenological as the weather offers a powerful container for faith, just as God does. You can’t beat it for its unfailing ability to take a barometric reading of someone new – it’s an excellent private indicator when beginning a conversation with a complete stranger.

The weather offers endless variety to our lives. The perfect vehicle for continuing a pattern of whining and complaining learned at home, or the opportunity to take in all of its inconvenience with grace and good will. The choice is yours.

I believe in the goodness of the weather. It seems to be completely omniscient. The protons of the sky indulge in regular conversation with earthly protons, completing desires, wishes, and doling out challenges when certain parts of the earth need it. How perfectly the weather achieves its character-building responsibilities. One day I know I will be privy to those intimate conversations the earth and sky protons share: “You know we haven’t had rain for 6 weeks. The seed isn’t going to set right. No, we can’t wait another week…”

I love the weather. Having been raised in an agrarian household amidst an agrarian community and an agrarian economy, weather talk, weather consciousness and weather appreciation began any communication, and usually ended it. Many of us have forgotten what it is like to be at the mercy of the weather. It’s not a terrible condition. The more vigorous the weather, the better. How thrilling to watch heavy rain flatten a field in undulant waves, or hear wood door frames groan at -30. And amazing to go visit the house that had its stair doors sucked up and lodged in the stairway, compliments of a tornado spinning just above the roof top. Like Santa and his dainty, miraculous reindeer, the wind, precipitation and sun are loaded with phenomenal capacities. I love it when people exclaim in exasperation about the grim quality of a blizzard or the inconvenience heavy rain produces. Not that I’m pleased with their discomfort. But I am secretly thrilled when the weather reminds us of the limits of human control.

When young, it’s easy to imagine that whoever commands the weather does so at your pleasure. Frost glints and gleams just for you at the moment of dusk. The emergent thaw of muddy, plowed ruts is scented just for you as you stroll by. And even as our brains have developed enough reasoning circuits to know better, the rainbow that delights our eyes at just the right moment seems meant for me, personally and unconditionally.