A TOUCH OF SILVER: Weather or Not

It’s been six months since I’ve written A Touch of Silver.

There’s no decent excuse, really. Writing these pieces is good for me. Back in the spring, they kept me grounded and present, appreciative of the little things that show up even at the darkest of moments. 

But like other things that are good for me and that I know I should be keeping up with – journaling, yoga, avoiding stress eating – I’ve come up short.

Oh well. That’s what starting over is for.

Getting back in the groove, I want to point out how strange and wonderful the weather has been. For the past week or so, temperatures in Vermont have been unseasonably warm. Into the low 70s during the day and in the high 40s to 50s at night. 

I understand that this is one of the outcomes of climate change, and I read the other day that by the end of this century, well over half of the northeast United States could be snow-free, compared to the current 27 percent. Further, winter is the season seeing the most intense increase in warmth due to climate change.

In terms of the big picture, I get that the weather we experienced the past few days is not a good thing. But small picture – like splashing-around-in-my-biochemical-makeup small – that weather is exactly what I need, and despite the ugly future it portends, I appreciate it. 

The day before Election Day, we had about five inches of snow. It was the first significant accumulation of the season, and it was a bummer. Given the national political climate, the ongoing pandemic, and the every-deepening sense of existential dread and ennui, the quick decline in weather was a huge bummer. So when the temperatures took a quick turn later in the week, my spirits were lifted.

Yesterday was the last unseasonably warm day, and I doubt we’ll see the 70s again until spring. Which is as it should be. T-shirt weather on Christmas is a nice fantasy, but the reality of it isn’t worth further worsening our global crisis. 

However, when I woke up to a 39-degree morning today, I had to smile. A year ago today, back when I was still working in schools, we had our first snow day. By this time last year, we’d burned through over a quarter ton of wood pellets, compared to this year’s mere 200 pounds. 

To be completely honest, though, there was something particularly cozy about that snow day. I remember sitting by the fire, writing and reading, oblivious to the bizarre future waiting mere weeks ahead.

I guess there’s always something to be grateful for, even if it takes a year to realize it.

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