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Weather Bell

People talk about the weather all the time. I’ve decided to see it as alarm bell signaling me to wake up.

It is mindless talk, really. “Boy, is it cold out there!” or “That wind is fierce!”

I used to say something like “Yeah, you’d think it was February or something!” Because it is February. Cold and windy weather are what define February in America. It isn’t a surprise. Freaking out over it makes no sense. It is normal.

If it going to be especially cold or windy, like more than normal for winter, then it is forecasted. Every day before I leave the house I know what the weather is expected to be like. I know whether to wear a thick coat or a thin one. I know to bring my umbrella or not. I know if I can wear my regular hat or I have to wear the one with a lanyard so it won’t blow away in a gust.

All these people who are surprised by the weather seem to be the same people who are surprised by life in general. They wonder how they got old and infirm. They wonder why they have no money saved up for retirement. They wonder where their health went.

If they can’t be awake enough to pay attention to something as simple and everyday as the weather, then how can they be expected to plan any further ahead? Just that day is enough of a challenge.

Sometimes the weather is a surprise. My grandfather said that a weatherman was the only person who could be wrong fifty percent of the time and still keep his job. But in general, what people are talking and/or complaining about with surprise and consternation isn’t a fluke weather pattern. It is something that is expected and was predicted, sometimes as much as a week earlier.

So I’m seeing it as a bell. I’m seeing any statement about not-out-of-the-ordinary weather as the same kind of bell in a church that calls people to services. It is the call of the muezzin. It is the tornado siren.

It is a bell that says – Wake up. Notice what is happening. Time is slipping by. Notice it.

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