A Fleeting Period of Perpetual Rain

Endless sunshine always is interrupted by fleeting periods of perpetual rain. The weather has always been this way. The everlasting pattern of dark and wet, then bright and dry, will continue forever, until it ends. Everything is impermanent and has been since the beginning of time. But we know about time, don’t we? Time is an illusion that refracts both truth and experience. One day I will write more about that refraction. Perhaps the story will be told from the perspective of a disillusioned ophthalmologist; but that fantasy is neither here nor there.

I mull over such irrefutable claims because these last few days of on-and-off rain seem to have begun when the earth was young, never stopping for the seasons. I realize, of course, that recent days of sunshine nullify that statement. No matter. Perception is reality.

The weather forecast calls for rain to end by 2:00 p.m. today, but we know that is a promise that is bound to be broken. Rain never ends; it simply moves on to ruin picnics in other places. And it will return again. The meteorologists’ own predictions say we should expect more precipitation within a week.  During that time, we’ll be teased with a taste of Spring and threatened with perennial Winter.

One could look at the fickle nature of weather through a lens clouded with displeasure, but I do not. Even when torrential rain makes taking a walk inadvisable or when ice makes driving dangerous, I enjoy Mother Nature’s tantrums. Though I’ll admit to being miffed when the weather require the cancellation of plans, I am glad weather comprises an almost endless variety of atmospheric phenomena. Tornadoes, ice storms, straight-line winds, torrential rain, sleet, hail, gentle snow, hurricanes, blizzards, even dust storms and stifling heat in the absence of even a slight breeze—it’s all fascinating and delightful, in a sense. Of course, the damage and destruction and loss of life that sometimes accompanies weather events is terribly unfortunate, but the weather itself is amazing. I will admit to frustration when extended periods when weather interferes with my plans; but, in the grand scheme of life in this universe, weather is a good thing. Where would we be without it?

My philosophy (or should I call it my theory?) about weather is this: weather is a tightly woven collection of atmospheric chaos that constitutes a magnificently complex and intricate design. Not an intentional design, but a self-generated design that relies on its own components to generate its form.

The power of weather is stunning in its enormity. Volcanoes, earthquakes…powerful, but impotent in comparison to weather. Nothing else on the planet can hold a candle to it. That statement may be erroneous. Weather, after all, is a child of climate, isn’t it? So isn’t climate the all-powerful force of nature? I think not. Climate functions like a car’s driver. The driver controls the car’s direction, but it’s the car that has the power. So it is with climate. Climate controls the direction weather takes, but weather exhibits the power. Yet an argument might be made that both the driver and the climate have ultimate control. Remove the driver from the car and the car becomes a mass of steel and plastic and rubber, unable to move of its own accord. Remove climate’s guiding hand and…what? Would weather cease without climate to guide it? I don’t know. I have never thought about it until just now; and thinking about it just now leaves me confused. I have no answer.

My smart phone just alerted me to the fact that Garland County, where we live, is under a flash flood watch until 6:00 p.m. today. More evidence of the power of weather. And a sign that I should stop writing about weather and return to fiction, hidden in documents on my computer.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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