I was checking FB today and I saw a post about the weather and how bad it had been in a certain mid-western State of the US. I know I don’t put much on FB and should not scoff at the efforts of others, but, really? The weather? Isn’t that what telephones are for? And when you put some more thought into it, wouldn’t that be a better conversation leaning on a fence chatting to your neighbour?
Don’t get me wrong, what’s happening on the weather front is important. I’m from Southland which for the uninitiated, is the southern most tip of Te Wai Pounamu (The South Island of New Zealand), where much of the land is farmed and any outdoor activity depends on what the Antarctic winds have in store. I grew up with my father tapping the barometer every morning. He was an engineer who built farm equipment for farmers who seemed to all have a permanent crick in the neck from looking over their shoulders to make sure the clouds weren’t doing something different to what they were half an hour ago. I know now Dad’s tapping was to arm himself with the conversation opener for the day and every farmer he dealt with would appreciate the easy entrance into negotiation.
The weather, no matter how protected we are from it, is always going to be news. We share it with everyone else on the planet which is why FB can’t come to the weather party. Sure you can rush out and take a selfie with a storm cloud, run back inside, upload and then what do you do? You wait. And wait until some adjunct person you once met at a gathering of Clowns give you a thumbs up for a cloud that’s now joined with other like-minded clouds and is merrily dumping rain on someone’s beach front wedding further down the coast.
We have to turn up in person to have weather conversations. And as with my father, sometimes they lead to greater things. If you don’t believe me, I’d like to hear an explanation for ancient cave wall art other than it was created on a cold rainy day by people wanting to stay inside where it was warm.