When I was growing up, it was pretty much known by all that my grandmother was a meteorologist. No matter the day of the week or time of day, she always knew what the weather was going to be, and she was always right. Today’s weather forecasters could have learned a lot from her. While we all made fun of Gram, we also understood that weather was extremely important to my family. There were always weather-based questions that needed to be answered. Was it going to be calm on the water that morning while granddad was out crabbing? Was hail going to fall on his crops? Could Gram hang her wash on the line? What would the temperature be when the fresh vegetables were gathered and the livestock taken care of? Their lives literally revolved around the weather, and both of my grandparents were quite adept at reading the signs and knowing what the weather would be like each day.
When Ken and I wake up in the mornings, the first thing I do is reach for the remote control. As we lie in bed and watch the news, we talk about what the day will bring and what our plans are. But neither of us talks when the weather report comes on. Ken knows that I cannot begin my day without first seeing the forecast. Of course, we all know that the forecast is not always what we would like it to be. Over the past several weeks, I have sent up many prayers asking the Lord to let the sun shine down upon graduations, prom/post-prom, and this weekend’s culminating graduation party. I may ask for good weather, but I know that I have to continue to make plans and provisions for whatever the day will hold. As a life-long weather observer, there are several lessons that I have learned from Mother Nature.
Acceptance – While I may pray for good weather, we all know that sometimes it does rain on our parade. What can you do when you’re planning Easter for 50 people and hunting for several hundred Easter eggs and the weather forecast is calling for rain? Rather than wallow in self-pity, you just have to come up with a Plan B. Some years we are racing against the clouds, trying to find every egg before the heavens break open and unleash their torrents of rain. Once, when the kids were very little, we even held the Easter egg hunt in our garage. We improvised. What other choice do we have? The weather is what it is, and just as in life, the sun doesn’t always shine. You make the best of things, and accept your situation, doing what you can to make everything work for the best.
Enjoyment – I have to say that not all bad weather translates to a bad time. Snowstorms, thunderstorms, frigid temperatures, and other things that make it impossible to go outside can lead to great enjoyment inside. There are always movies to watch, books to read, games to play, doughnuts to bake, and many other things that can bring a family together when the weather is frightful. When we were young children, severe thunderstorms became a time for gathering together to say the Rosary. Snowstorms presented an afternoon watching Gone With the Wind or the Wizard of Oz. When my own children were younger, it was a time to introduce them to favorites like Star Wars or the Game of Life. Sometimes, it simply means peace and quiet as everyone reads a book or works on homework. No matter what we do, we are reminded that time spent together as a family, without the need to go anywhere, is always time to be cherished.
There’s Always a Rainbow – We’ve all heard the saying that in everyone’s life, a little rain must fall. And as young children, we’re all taught to look for the rainbow. It’s not just a silly thing to do or a superstition. Looking for the rainbow is what we should do constantly throughout our lives. Storms will come and go, and we will always need to find a way to get through them. Another thing we’ve all heard is that every cloud has a silver lining. Whatever storms you may be facing in life, know that there is something good waiting for you after they pass. Do not spend your time fretting about the storms. Always be on the lookout for the rainbow.
Plan anyway – And when the storm is predicted, don’t shut down or stop living. Continue to make your plans, and live life as if you’re expecting the skies to be clear. Weather is unpredictable, and often, when we are told that the rain will come, it never appears. Think of all the times that people prepared for hurricanes or blizzards, only to wake up with the Sun shining. We humans never really know what is to come or what the day will bring. Make your plans. Prepare for your cookout. Invite your friends. You never know what the day will bring.
Appreciate the sunshine – Much like looking forward to the rainbow, always remember that while there are dark and cloudy days, there are far more sunny days. Count your blessings, and appreciate the good times. Don’t waste a minute of sunshine. Go outside, lift your face to the sun, and breathe in the fresh, clean air. The bad weather always clears, and the sun always rises.
My grandparents were weather watchers, for sure, but they were also mindful of the little amount of time they had. No matter the weather, life goes on, so don’t let a few clouds ruin your parade. Dance in the rain, bask in sun, enjoy the breeze, watch the lightening, feel the snow on your face. Accept each day, whatever the weather, with the knowledge that it is a gift. And even on cloudy days, let your sun shine for all to see.
What I was writing about one year ago this week: Finding the Way.
Things I’ve read this week that are worth sharing: The Silent Tragedy Affecting Today’s Children; The Best New Summer Books of 2017; and The Quirkiest Town in Maryland that You’ll Absolutely Love.
Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me and Whispering Vines, are recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top three inspirational fiction books of 2015 and 2016. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Amy’s most recent novel, Island of Miracles, is now on sale.