Pink contrails ran on a faintly blue sky in the southwest the other morning, three minutes before sunrise, though we were not likely to see sunshine until the ten o'clock hour. I didn't run outside to photograph the pink and the blue, though I've been known to do that. In my pajamas.
We joke about talking about the weather––like we do that when there's nothing better to talk about. Or when we have little else in common with the person we feel we have to say something to. As if talking about the weather is meaningless chatter.
In fact, when we talk about the weather, we are sharing something important. We are, in that moment, in touch with the natural world. We're noticing the rhythms of sun and moon, wind and rain, morning and evening. We note that the predicted extreme cold of winter seems to have swollen the squirrel population, that they are busier fattening up than usual. We are connecting with Life itself when we talk about the weather, and when we talk about it, we're sharing that connection with a fellow human. There isn't much, if anything, that is more important than connection. My friend Janet says it's the most important political work––connecting.
That day of the contrails became a crisp, sunny day. The lowest temperature of the day was 15ºF (-9ºC). The sun did show its face, earlier than expected, and warmed the air to 35ºF (1.6ºC). As I was returning home from the town's indoor flea market, my purchases in a black bag, a white-tailed doe, trailed by a six-prong stag, thrilled me by bounding across the street I was walking on. They were only feet away from me, and I'm certain the stag made eye contact with me.
I want to have meaningful conversations. I want to talk about the weather. About the animals. About the trees in their seasons. And other things, too, of course. Connecting. Our most important work. And our play.