An Open Letter to the Weather

When it first occurred to me to write to you, I thought I would take you to task. I thought I could hold you accountable for all the times you have rained on me, coldly, cruelly, mercilessly, as if you were trying to make my life hard and miserable. Like the robbers in the parable of the Good Samaritan, you have attacked me like a bandit on the road from Sparrowk to Walton.

But now that I sit down to write, I am sobered. It is no small thing to address you in any way, let alone with a tone of self-righteous condemnation. There are reasons for this.

First, I know that you do not think of me. I am a very small thing compared to you. What is my breath compared to yours? Your breath has destroyed entire cities; mine has only blown out candles. You do not rain on me; you rain. I just happen to be there when you do. I have no right to be angry with you for that.

Second, you have not only been a source of misery for me; you have also been a source of joy. I must not forget that it is you that has shown me the terrible power of lightning, the smell of rain, the brilliance of snow. You have even enhanced the glory of the sun by clothing it in halos of gold and pink. I should not even bother describing these things. In these cases, experience alone yields understanding.

Third, I know that you are not responsible for the darkness of winter. Astronomy accounts for that, not meteorology. And it serves me right for living this far North anyway. It is the darkness, and not the clouds, which stifles me most.

Therefore, I will humbly make a request. Could you arrange for a snow day? Just one? I don’t mean “so that I can not do work,” for of course, one can still do school work on snow days. I mean “so that I can stop.” A snow day is an interruption: a sign that our schedules, our plans, are always provisional. We do not have complete control, and the course of our lives is not determined solely by the force of our own wills. But in the midst of school, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to understand that: the peace and stillness which such understanding brings to my harried soul. Would you remind me?


A Student

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