Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Weather

The winter before you were born was a little different.

This is typical of Chicago, where we live now. None of the seasons follow the standards society imagines them to have, and if people think otherwise it is a tradition to make fun of them.

Lots of snow came down really early, then in early January it all melted and got really warm and rainy. Cold and snowy! Record snow! Then freezing winds! Then mild! Nice! Humid and warm! Record high temperatures! It will probably be cold and snowy again. It will shift, and people will blame various things. They'll all be wrong, because weather is amorphous and bizarre and we never get it right. Weather is massive, chaotic. And here we are just north enough for a lot of snow but south enough for blistering heat. Far from the ocean, on top of a lake. Too many factors for the tilting of the Earth to indicate what to expect.

But lots of people talked about this winter. It will be and has been debated. What pressure situation was there? Are good things melting? Oceans rising? How will this winter effect everything? Even though the forces at work are powerful and impossible to manipulate, we are desperate to throw in our two cents, to obsess, to define what we're going through when it's nothing but curveballs.

See, last winter was very snowy and cold. It stayed fairly consistent. No anomalies. No big shifts.

About four mild winters before that, all with very little snow. Unexciting.

Winter's my favorite season, and this one was exciting.

Soon after this winter ends, you'll be born. I'm pretending you somehow affected the winter with your development. That from the womb you summoned and banished glaciers at a whim. I imagine this because you're about to affect everything else in my life and I need to get used to ideas like these.

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