Learning to love the Weather

The last three mornings I’ve played being a lumberjack.   Well, sort of.   I’m not even the one running the Chain saw, my brother in law is handling that.  But we’ve been working on a project to clear out an area of our back woods for a play house for the kids, and to expand our usable backyard.   It’s turning out to be a really great experience.

First, the weather.   I’m actually starting to appreciate this rainy weather, especially since I’m getting hot and sweaty in 65 degree drizzle already — what if it were sunny and 90?   Wearing mud boots I don’t mind sloshing through really muddy water or the wet backyard, and the smell of wood and the vegitation is intoxicating.   Beyond that, it’s beautiful out there.  The clearing still has stumps and branches that need to be cleaned away, but it’ll be a gorgeous little open area.   I find myself even enjoying the little path I take carrying logs to the woodpile, and the noise as my brother in law finishes a tree and his son and I push on it with a long thin log to direct it’s fall.  Simply, I love the Maine woods.

Tonight we burned loads of brush — parts of the trees that had leaves or were too small to save as firewood.   We got a huge blaze going, despite drizzle and very wet wood (with a little help from gasoline), and it was comforting to know that the lawn is so wet and full of puddles that there was no chance the fire could spread.   Then briefly some blue sky appeared, we tried to roast marshmallows; the blaze was too hot to get the marshmallows close t0 the flames, but we got some smores nonetheless.   It was wondrous — a fire going, walking through the new clearing in the woods on a nice cool evening…a memorable day.

After class today the students in my summer course complained about the weather — week after week of cool rain, no sun…and no sun in the forecast at this point.   I decided it really doesn’t bother me.   Perhaps what people miss is not good weather, but enjoying nature.   When it’s rainy people tend to stay inside, think about all the things they aren’t doing, and choose not to walk in mud and wet grounds, or feel rain or drizzle on their cheeks.   Thus people are inside more, and probably get more easily bored.   Also, we have a schema in our heads of what summer should be — sun, beach, and tans.   This doesn’t fit our schema, we learn to be disappointed.

A friend of mine has her four year old doing outdoor swim lessons, and notes that his lips turn blue and he often swims in the cold drizzle with the other kids.   Yet, he enjoys it.   He hasn’t learned that this isn’t what swimming should be, it’s simply fun.  Perhaps the key is to find ways to enjoy this weather anyway, even if it’s not the usual summer fare — it’s not as good perhaps as laying in the sun or looking at the starry sky while camping, but there will be days for that too.   The key is not to let oneself get bored in the present.

I’m not bored these days.   AMs working outside, afternoon class, evenings preparing the next day’s class, and sometimes finding time to write a quick blog entry, e-mail or facebook (nice to take a quick look at people’s updates), and work on a review due by July 15 — my days are if anything a bit too busy.   Yet the time in nature removes all stress, and given the subject of my course — “Consumerism, Politics and Values” — gives me a sense of virtue.   There is more satisfaction in carrying logs and helping clear trees than playing a new video game or going shopping.  I also get exercise, have time with my brother in law and his son (though the language barrier is quite large) and yeah — it’s good.

Still, a day on the beach would be nice too!

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  1. #1 by Lee on July 3, 2009 - 11:36

    I am a total sun worshipper. I live for sunny days playing with the kids at the beach. But, though I am disappointed at the weather patterns I felt it was important to still have outside fun times. Thank goodness we have good LL Bean rain gear though! Also there have been things that we have noticed on walks that you don’t see when you aren’t in such a wet environment. Different varieties of fungi, moss, delicate little members of the ecosystem that often escape our notice. We have watched waterfalls and stood in the rain watching a great blue heron feed. They will still remember a summer of fun things, just different ones!

  2. #2 by Jade on July 3, 2009 - 14:25

    If I didn’t have plans that involved the sun, I would be more accepting of the current weather situation – I do love going for walks in the rain, or swimming in the SAndy even when it’s greay and drizzly. Of course, when it’s wetter out, there are more bugs, and since I’m allergic that makes things considerably less fun also. But I remember being little and wanting to go swimming outside no matter what the weather was doing – and I think I’m going to have to work on rediscovering that little kid if I’m going to really enjoy this 4th of July! 🙂

  3. #3 by Jeff Lees on July 3, 2009 - 16:42

    I like the rain, it keeps it cooler (if not a little more humid). But it’s the summer in Maine, it’s always going to be humid! I’d rather it be 65 w/ 90% humidity than 85 w/ 75% humidity. I hate hot weather, if it’s above 75 degrees, its too hot for me. Plus when it’s raining that carcinogenic ball of death in the sky isn’t beating down on my already ravished skin. And I have to agree with you about exploring nature when it’s raining. I love walking in the rain, and nature is just as nice when it’s cloudy and wet. This summer is becoming a lot like last summer. Last summer I was staying in Farmington, and it rain a lot. At the time I complained, but when it stared getting really hot and stopped raining in August, I prayed to the rain gods! Plus overall I think we are exaggerating, it rained for about 2 hours yesterday, and the day before it rained for about 1 hour. Yes it’s continually cloudy with a “chance” of rain, but in the last week it hasn’t rained continually. So I’m happy with the weather, the sun’s alright, but I want it to stay cool.

  4. #4 by Natasha Novosyolova on July 3, 2009 - 22:02

    It´s been 45-55F here in Syktyvkar for several days now. Small frequent rain..a chilly summer this year!

    When an american group came here in the end of May, it had been snowing! They were freezing here throughout the 4 days of their stay, yet when we met with the Head of the Komi Republic they were really concerned about the global warming here!)))You folks are weird)))
    We went to a village together, walked and played outside. No one complained of it being cold – people had things to do and enjoyed themselves! Everyone loved it here, more than in Moscow or St.Petersburgh, despite of the cold wind. Good company and fun activities make any weather seem likeable!

    Now being a mother of 3 I know that kids just don´t care about snow, rain, frost or wind when they´ve got stuff to do! And children love running or cycling under rain!
    It´s us being lazy on a cozy couch and nagging who finally correspond the notion of “bad weather” to them.

    I personally prefer it being cool to sweating all over. And I love the freshness of leaves/grass after rain! But any weather´s good when I stop being afraid and just get out into the nature.. or have a good friend to share a talk/stroll with!
    And campfire can make every weather perfect.

    The beauty of nature gives inspiration regardless of the weather´s current mood. Observing it makes one a better person, less egocentric/grumpy:)New poetry lines may come to my mind..an idea for drawing smth new.. And walking/doing small jobs outside free the mind: bring calmness, clearness to thought, restore inner balance, take the accumulated stress away and make it easier to analyse events and introspect.. Give energy for the rest of the day! and life seems simpler, brighter and happier!

    Oh I´ve said so many good things about it – but didn´t want to go get out for a walk when it was raining today:)

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