Iknow in the last issue I didn’t really finish up my discussion about lightning, and I said I would continue that talk this week, but sometimes other things come around that change our minds.
It’s interesting how “big things” in our lives start out as “other things.” Take the one-in-300-year flood happening along the Assiniboine River. Earlier this year the idea of a big flood along the Assiniboine was just one of those “other things.” We have seen flooding across southern Manitoba in the past, but for the most part it affected the Red River Valley and maybe a few places along the Assiniboine, but the idea of a major flood was in most people’s minds, just one of those “other things.”
My heart goes out to everyone who is affected by this year’s flood. While I have never experienced my livelihood being washed away during a flood, I’ve felt its effect. A few years ago overland flooding washed away seven years of work amending the soil in my garden. In just one day, the whole top six inches was washed away. I was devastated, and this was only a small garden. I don’t think I’m cut of the same cloth most farmers are. If watching my garden wash away nearly did me in,
I really don’t know how you can watch your whole farm wash away. All I can think to say is to remember those “other things” right now.
The fact that I’m writing about the weather is one of those “other things.” When I was growing up, at least according to my family, I had a “thing” for the weather. I would stay up late watching a thunderstorm or my mom would catch me sitting in the living room late at night watching the snow fall during a winter blizzard. She would tell me it was time for bed and everything would be all right in the morning. For the most part, Mom was right. Everything was OK the next morning. There might have been some branches broken and maybe a tree blown down, but for a kid, if it didn’t hit my house or,
heaven forbid, my bike, then everything was OK; in fact, it was better than OK, because there was a whole morning, at least, full of adventure for me. In the winter it was almost the same thing. Everything was fine the next morning – sometimes it was a little disappointing because it didn’t snow all night, but other times it was great because school was closed and we were in the middle of a full-out blizzard!
At some point one of those “other things” about weather occurred to me. Just why do some of the most interesting weather events occur during the night? It is tough to pull weather data and analyze it hour by hour, but to me, it seems that most of the best or coolest weather occurs at night when we can’t really watch it. When it comes to thunderstorms I can understand why. Conditions for big thunderstorms in our part of the world don’t really come together until late in the day, and most big thunderstorms don’t happen until late in the evening, usually. I think when it comes to winter storms it’s simply the fact that they tend to unfold slowly – so during the day we tend not to notice it, while at night we blissfully fall asleep for five to eight hours while the snow continues to pile up outside.
Over the years I have taken and instructed a number of courses on both time management and stress management. The underlying point to both of these was not to stress about things that are not within your control. Weather is definitely not in our control, yet we treat it like we are in control of it. I think it’s because we feel that we are in control of the effects weather can have on us. If there is a tornado and it destroys a building, we say that if we had only built it stronger it might have survived. If it is flooding, we say we should have been better prepared, and then none of this would have happened, and in a way we are right, but we are also wrong. In hindsight, we can always prepare for the worst, but nature and life tend to throw us curveballs once in a while. Could we be better prepared for them? Probably, but in reality, we can’t prepare for everything life and Mother Nature throws at us. There are always “other things” that tend to get in our way… like living life, getting married, having kids or simply enjoying those around us.
So, for all of us, no matter how things are right now, let’s remember some of those “other things” in life. As long as we have those “other things” everything will be OK.