Ever have those conversations about the weather? You know, the ones where your parents will ask you, “So, what’s the weather like?” For some people, this is just conversation filler. For my parents, they really want to know! At least I think they do. I guess in some people’s lives, the weather is really important. If your employment depends on it–say, road conditions– then yes, it would be important. For me, the weather became significant when I bought my house. Living in a community at almost 4,000 ft. elevation and in a home surrounded by tall trees, I knew that I needed to be concerned with things like snow, ice, and wind. So, before we moved in, I subscribed to the Weather Channel’s online email updates. I did this specifically because we needed to get a new heater installed, and the company said that in order for them to put in it, they needed to have our roof clear of snow. That particular winter, Pollock Pines witnessed storm after storm. I was beginning to think that we’d never get that heater installed! But, lo and behold, we did. The snow storms paused for a moment to allow the heater guys to come in and remove the old heater and replace it with a real nice one. It took awhile, but it eventually happened.
And that is the thing about weather. In a way, it is like Step 1 in 12-Step Programs: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol….” In this case, we can admit that we are powerless over the weather. However, in admitting that powerlessness, we claim our power. Our power lies in the choices we make, each and ever day. Despite the weather, we can choose a peaceful, patient attitude or one that is grumpy and gloomy. I have met some people whose attitudes change with the direction of the wind–literally. If it is warm and sunny outside, they are cheerful, relaxed, and enjoying life. But as soon as the rains move in, forget it. It’s all doom and gloom. “Ah, the weather totally sucks!” they’ll say. I’ll cop to it; I used to be one of those people, to some extent. If it rained, my attitude would be a little darker than it would be if it were a bright sunny day. But now, I am realizing that the weather has no power over me, my mood, what I am feeling, what I am doing…. There is choice in every moment, and like Ernest Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind says, “We can always choose again.” I just love that! So, yes, in life, there are ‘rewinds’ or ‘do-overs.’ An abusive ex-girlfriend once told me that in life, there were no second chances. Once you did or said something, it was ‘out there,’ and you couldn’t take it back. You couldn’t press the rewind button. To a certain extent, that may hold some truth, but in life, there ARE second chances; and third and fourth and so one. We always can choose– again.
The weather–like life itself–is a wonderful teacher. I did not pay much attention to this teacher in my youth and early adulthood, as I viewed it something that influenced my mood and my life, generally. But now, I see that the weather, like everything else around us, is made of the stuff of life. Just like weeds in a garden that we try to eradicate. Once we get to the point where we realize we can choose our attitude, that we run life and not allow life to run us, that we have unlimited power at our fingertips. In the Buddhist tradition, specifically in the Four Noble Truths, they teach the notion that attachment is suffering, and the way out of suffering is detachment or non-resistance to ‘what is.’ Applying this concept to the weather, we can accept what is and then make a choice. We realize, in that very moment that the power is with us and by not resisting the stuff of life, that we do not have to suffer anymore. Sure, I prefer the sun over endless days of rain–or snow, for that matter–but rainy days no longer make a difference to me in terms of how I am feeling. My choices around the day’s activities may be different than they would be if it were a sunny day, but the point is that I have the power to choose.
So, let the weather be your teacher. It is a remarkable mentor. Patience, acceptance, non-resistance to what is, self-empowerment. Those are all wonderful tools to have in one’s spiritual toolbox, assisting us along the journey of life.