How to Love All Weather, Rain or Shine
Recently, without much fanfare, I’ ve come to realize that I love all kinds of weather. To paraphrase the lyrics from the Broadway show, Wicked, ‘Something has changed within me, something is rearranged’.
This is strange considering Spring used to make me uneasy, Summer made me want to bolt, Fall settled me down and there was joy and winter was (unlike most people) a winter of content. I would get tense in the weeks leading to the weather and season changing and then one day, for no particular reason — some say I fell in love with life — I began to love all weather.
As a consequence of this inner evolution, I love the rain, I also love the snow and the sleet; I love the muggy days, the hot, dry days, the tender-crisp days of September and even the dreary, damp ones of November. There’s nothing peach incense of an apple cinnamon candle can’t fix.
In the morning, I listen to the radio weather report as they yammer on about the forecast ahead. In offices, people make all sorts of sounds (cheering or despair) about The Weather. Barring hurricanes and snow storm or heat wave warnings, i.e. we are talking average, run-of-the-mill weather here) protesting the weather is somewhat silly, given that weather is inevitable. To balk at the weather or challenge the forecast is to engage in a card game with someone who holds all the aces in the deck. Nothing you do will change either. It is, as they say, what it is. The weather, g-d bless it, is as inevitable as the geese flying home in spring and fall. It’s one of those ‘regardless’ things of life.
It just seems that the happier I get, it seems the more impervious of all weather that I become. I can find something nice about any day, any temperature, any precipitation, humidity level or lack thereof. It’s not even glad-to-be-here-and-alive; it’s more like every nuance of any day, any season, has some appeal. Ditto for baking: as a professional pastry chef, I used to dislike this or that and be oh-so-picky about recipes (not my own, other peoples’ of course). Now? I like anyone else’s cheesecake recipe or even their bad biscuits. Somehow, I can find something in everything that tastes good or sates or simply raises some sort of culinary inquiry. It’s all good. Even the bad food and the bland — it’s all good.
More than weather, more than baking, it’s gotten that way with people too. I love them all — even the impossible. I hear the querulousness, the judgmental (me included), the petty, and the racist, even the unkind. We gossip and then are kind in turns or we’re ambivalent. Friends come and go, and are loyal or let you down or inspire you and then it all repeats — randomly and without warning. And that too, on some level, is all ok. It’s human weather.
At my, at our worst, I can only hear everyone’s humanity playing out in the air as they say things. I see the ignorance that is born of fear or wounds and I know, beyond those moments of descent, there is just a pained human being advertising their hurt. (To be clear, I am not ok with violence or madness or sheer mean-ness. There is a point where someone’s damages inspire a dubious respect and I know to stay away). Even when I’m in the fray and think I have a point to make or have all my buttons pressed to the marrow and feel reactive as all Hell, even then — it fades. I am left with a light sigh and later (an hour, a minute?), I forget. Is this transcendence or a wisdom that comes with mid-life fatigue?
I don’t know if I’ve become Buddhist or indifferent but somehow, without my awareness, I’ve crossed over to this place where I see life in one big undulating rise and fall of good and not-so-good, frustrating, enlivening, expected, surprising — all of it. I’ve managed to get to that elusive (I often thought mythic) emotional level where I’m as mature as I always hoped I could be and more of the time than less of the time I can look at it with a benign shoulder shrug and just …be.
At any rate, can you just imagine if this (for the general population) happened at twenty or thirty and one could have this equanimity of spirit? We’d be unstoppable. We’d be Titans. All that time to create and build? No more hours (days, years) and moods to rob us of creating a world (worlds!) that makes us shudder in joy. Maybe it would be too much to take. Maybe our damages, our petty ones, are deeper wounds, are the balance for such joy. Perhaps that rub between our higher selves and lower selves is what creates collisions and those collisions are the lynch pin of movement. Or maybe our irritation with a touch of rain or a foggy sunrise (to miff some walk-a-thon organizers) keeps us earthbound just enough — just enough lest we take wings and dare fly.
What if we all learned to love all weather? Where would that good fight — the one of innate resistance, the one that implores you to pick a side in the war on life…be? Where would all this energy, this ‘weather’ go to?
Maybe we could learn to live, more often than not, with an open heart — one ready to catch rain or sun rays in equal, happy measure.