Speaking of Weather…

February 27, 2013

When I was a young mother my former father-in-law would call us once a week to check on his grandchildren. His first question, though, was always the same. “How’s the weather?” he would ask, then he would fill us in on the lack of rain, the blizzard in the next state, or thundersnow heard outside his home. I listened politely with one child in my arms and the other tugging at the hem of my shirt, knowing I had to move the conversation along so I could return to cooking dinner, but secretly wishing I could continue our chat because really, there is little I enjoy more in the way of conversation than talking about the weather.

Am I alone? I don’t think so. People often talk about the weather because weather is fun. It’s always changing, shocking us with its severity, soothing us with desperately needed moisture, relieving us of the task of watering the lawn the next day. Our lives depend on the weather, on the moisture it provides to our lakes and streams, replenishing our water supply, a supply that is quickly dwindling in the Southwestern states.

And yet, so often I hear people refer to weather conversations as if they are ways to avoid the “real conversations” of life. Discussing the weather is discussing the reality of life. The politics of water and wildfire prevention is something I intend to discuss far more often on this blog because these are issues that affect everyone in the West. It affects our safety, our health, our lifestyle, our survival.

Let’s talk about the weather, talk about it seriously, recognize and understand the important role it plays in our survival. Let’s teach our children to talk about the weather in a serious manner, and help them understand its importance, too. Perhaps if we keep talking, watching, learning and recording weather patterns we can find the answers we need to save our forests and homes and keep our water clean for future generations.

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