After a long while the snow ceased to fall around him, and the wind to blow. The sun shone out. He could not see far ahead as he crawled, for the fur of his hood came forward over his eyes. No longer feeling any cold in his legs and arms nor on his face, he thought that the frost had benumbed him. Yet he could still move. The snow that lay over the glacier looked strange to him, as if it were a white grass growing up out of the ice. It bent to his touch and straightened again, like grassblades. He ceased to crawl and sat up, pushing back his hood so he could see all around him. As far as he could see lay fields of snowgrass, white and shining. There were groves of white trees, with white leaves growing on them. The sun shone, and it was windless, and everything was white.
- Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand Of Darkness
I woke up this morning to a scorched red sky, a moaning, howling wind, and streets devoid of people. Before my watery eyes the world slowly disappeared into a toxic yellow haze. It may well have been the apocalypse.
But the weather was not angry. People are angry, and fearful. But you can cry and scream and rally and plead against the storm all you will, and it will not respond. The weather just is. All you can do is respect it.
This makes people nervous, the lack of control over nature, the unknown. They hurriedly get inside and find a hot chocolate and say "Isn't the weather horrible?" or "It's coming down so hard!" or "Are you crazy? I'm not going back up into that blizzard! I couldn't even see the tips of my skis!".
But I don't mind staying outside, if I have good clothing. Water only makes you wet. Snow and dust just cloud your vision. All the wind can do is pull at you. Hot and cold, you can withstand, for a little while. And the storm, it doesn't scour, or destroy, or rage -
Author's note: 'being one with nature' is not an excuse for being stupid and dying of exposure. Inspired partly by the massive dust storm in Sydney on September 23rd, 2009.