The Weather Forecast
As a matter of fact, we’ll be lucky if we experience that really harsh, cold weather that used to visit the Northern Hemisphere in winter time. That’s not walking weather, it’s looking out the window weather.
If you go outside in that type of atmosphere, you’ll immediately feel the hairs on your face rise up. It feels like icicles are forming at the end of your nose. And when you try and wipe it off, you punch yourself in the face with the big fat gloves you are wearing.
Even when you wrap up in Arctic clothing that you can buy in the shops these days, quilted jackets, guaranteed to withstand anything below minus 15 degrees Celsius, you’d feel the cold getting through the gaps at the wrists. Two mittens on elastic cords won’t protect you, either. You need thick Gortex gloves with gauntlet styling around the wrists.
You stand at the traffic lights because it’s red. When you try and push the button to make the red go to green, it’s so cold and you need to move, your hand is so numb you end up pushing all the buttons. So you jay-walk into chaos.
But I don’t think we’ll be having weather like that this year — not this time.
It’ll be a little chilly, and you’ll be getting your warm clothes out and putting the summer clothes at the back of the wardrobe. A few days later it’ll be so mild and sunny outside that you’ll drag the summer clothing out again and put the winter clothes at the back again.
The weather this winter will be confusing. A long time ago, people told us this would happen if we kept on doing what we’ve been doing; being superfast about everything we do, getting into a rush and a fuss with making clothes that we want to throw away as quickly as the new weekend comes around. Then buy more.
People told us that if we don’t slow down, take a look around ourselves and do something about all the machines, then we’ll be living in a cauldron by mid-twenty-first century.
Long ago, before TV, somebody discovered fire. It made everybody really happy because they could finally warm their behinds every so often while eating dinner — a warm dinner. That was a new idea. It gave people more time to chat after work, and gather around in the semi-darkness and wonder at this new discovery. Fire.
Fire really made us feel that we could finally control the elements. People started to wave their hand at freezing temperatures because if they wanted to go for a walk, they just took a burning torch with them and stayed out after dark.
Then people discovered that fire was a multi-use item that could solve a lot of problems.
Heat a slice of steel on a rod and poke your livestock in the butt with it, and everybody knows the animal belongs to you. It’ll have your special mark on it.
This allows you to keep enormous amounts of livestock, let them wander around the countryside and never end up in an argument with your neighbour about whose cow it is, anyway.
Then if you keep the furnace burning day and night you can make everybody work day and night — you make tons more money this way. Fire.
The weather won’t matter much because we’ve already learned how to carry fire. Go up to the mountains in freezing temperatures and carry a stove for cooking hot food, a hand warmer for each hand with coals burning inside, or you can buy an electrically heated hat to wear as you poke around on a dark mountain top with a powerful battery torch.
Take it Easy and Relax
Or just go and sit in a bar all night long drinking hot-chocolate and beer, you can do that because there’s fire to stoke the furnace that runs the electric mill.
I bet you, like me, are glad that somebody found fire way back in the old days. It means that we can develop useful things to help us survive. But we’ve advanced way beyond survival needs, and for decades we’ve been in the Play-Zone, the age of decadence and “What-can-I-Play-with-Next?”, era.
The weather will stay mild because we want to play. There are people who are still warning us to put our toys down and get busy with saving the planet — if we still can.
The weather will get choppy, like a rough sea. The water will begin to swirl differently, freak waves will rise up out of nowhere and boats full of people who wish they hadn’t set sail in the first place.
We can look at the skies and wonder at the changes, the rhythms of strange weather patterns, chat about it around the camp fire, but we really, really, need to take action on this one, now.
The weather forecast.