The weather outside is frightful. Really. I’m not particularly a snow person at the best of times, but even I can enjoy a nice sunny day, not too cold, with a little bit of cross country skiing, cocoa from a thermos and perhaps a fire to grill hot-dogs on. The last week or so, though? Ter – ri – ble. There’s been seemingly constant snow, hail, sleet and rain and every other variation thereof, frequently accompanied by wind, occasionally strong winds.
Still, when I caught myself feeling sorry for myself the other day, I realised it was time for a reality check.
Why? Well, honestly, if bad weather for a couple of weeks is unpleasant and a minor inconvenience, which, believe me, is all it is, that means I’m in a more priveleged situation than the vast majority of people on earth, even many of my neighbours.
- Heavy rain to me means wet clothes if I don’t remember to dress for it.
- A dry spell, similarly, means the price of electricity might go up a bit, and if we’re at my parents’ cabin we have to be extra careful about not setting off a forest fire (which, naturally, we try to avoid at the best of times).
- If it’s cold, I can dress up more warmly, snuggle under a blanket or turn the heat up. If neccessary, I have the money to pay the increased heating bill and to buy more clothes.
- Strong winds means it’s better to stay inside, but if I have to go out it’s not a problem.
As opposed to, were I born somewhere and someone else:
- Heavy rain means worrying about a flooded house or a flooded field that was supposed to feed my family. Hereabouts it might lead to worrying about landslides.
- A dry spell may mean we will starve because crops will fail.
- Cold may mean freezing to death or choosing between eating and paying the heating bill.
- Strong winds may blow my house down.
And so on. Should we be particularly unlucky, our basement could flood and I suppose wind could blow in a window or one could break because something outside got picked up and thrown against it. Should anything like that happen we have insurance that will cover it, and even if the insurance company quarrelled, we would be able to fix the problem somehow from savings or borrowing from family, or worst case: the bank.
And that’s it. My worst case scenario, regarding weather, resembles a helluvalot of people’s unobtainable dream.
That is my grateful thought of the day.