April 6, 2016
Mother Nature is definitely menopausal. All you have to do is look around to know that. I don’t know if anyone’s keeping a journal, but it seems to me that there have not been too many days in the last two years when violent weather of one kind or another wasn’t striking somewhere in the United States. Each night we watch one of the U. S. national newscasts, and each night we shake our heads and try to make sense out of the constant pounding y’all are taking down there. The same system that is spewing snow and ice in one part of the country is also generating record rainfall and gale force winds in another. High winds, hail and even snowfalls have become commonplace where they never have been before. It’s enough to make you want to curl into a ball and pull the covers over your head, isn’t it?
On this past Monday morning we woke up here to about 8 inches of snow. April snow is not unheard of here in southern Ontario. Heck, we’ve had snow in May in past years, and I know that. I remember that. And really, with the wacky and somewhat wimpy winter we’ve had this year, I guess we should have expected it. I’m not complaining, though, because so many others have had it so much worse over the last several months. My part of the so-called frozen north has been downright temperate in comparison to areas that generally truly are temperate. But hell—I had to put the ice claw back on my cane, which makes the cane heavy.
Personally, I don’t understand how anyone can doubt the science of climate change.
Everything seems to be different from a decade or so ago. Not just our weather, but our technology, and our political landscape have all changed. Reality has changed and the result of all these changes is that our illusion of safety has been ripped away from us. Yes, I said illusion, because life has always been fragile and uncertain, but being the kind of creatures we are, we manage to find ways to fool ourselves that it’s not. We create routines and patterns in our lives, so that they become our way of life, and for the most part we skip along blissfully unaware of the turmoil that lives just blocks away from us.
We’re moles who find nice little hidey-holes to hide in. That is, until someone comes along with a big excavator, changes our scenery—and then we have to scramble to find new holes to hide in all over again. That takes time and energy and in the interim, we shiver and shake with our insecurity.
Because of the uncertainty that plagues us during these times especially, we need some things in our lives that are constant and don’t change. We need anchors in our lives, something to hold onto, something to ground us while we have our faces turned into the storm—or maybe our backs braced against it.
For me, the one thing I cling to are my relationships with other people. My family comes first in this regard, followed by my friends. I’m going to stand center stage here and tell y’all that it’s always been so, and I’ve always been aware, that my friendships often are far more important to me than they are to the people I am in those friendships with. That doesn’t bother me overly much, because we’re all different, with different priorities and different ways of seeing the world. People matter to me very much, likely because I was so young when I lost my dad.
I’ve been chided by my family for putting too much faith in other people, and told, in fact, that doing so will only lead to disappointment and heartache. And I have been reminded of this by them especially when, as should be expected, from time to time those friends I’ve been invested in have let me down—or unexpectedly simply walked out of my life.
My family members are not being mean to me when they say this, they just wish to protect me from getting my feelings hurt over and over again. I appreciate that, but what they don’t quite get is that the value to me in these relationships is not what I get from them.
It’s what I give to them that defines and grounds me.