Editorial: Weather unites us

Our preoccupation with the weather isn’t something to be scoffed at, it’s something to be embraced.

We sure do love to talk about the weather.

This isn’t the first time it’s been said, but it bears repeating.

There’s something about an unusual weather event that makes us all want to tell someone about it. Anyone and everyone.

It is a very Canadian thing. It seems almost instinctual. Maybe it’s a deep-seated biological urge that remains from the days when our ancestors were so much more vulnerable to the vagaries of the seasons and rain, drought, wind and snow than we are now. These events certainly do still remind us of our relatively small size in the larger scheme of things. A tornado will still wipe out anything in its path, after all, and a lack of water will still ultimately kill us. Or maybe we all just love to have something to say without having to dig deep to sound pithy or steeped in the latest in pop culture.

Whether biological leftover or lazy conversation starter, our occasional preoccupation with the weather isn’t something to be scoffed at, it’s something to be embraced.

Because it is a great uniting force. It’s something we all have in common. In an increasingly bitterly divided world, we can all agree wholeheartedly that digging out after a storm sucks – for our overtaxed and underused muscles, at least. But as we lean on our shovel handles at the end of our driveways trying to catch our breath before getting back at it, it gives us a chance to talk to our neighbours. Sometimes we may even be meeting them for the first time. Some neighbours offer help to others who are less able (or – cough, cough – whose husbands are away). Teenagers can take the opportunity to make a bit of spending cash with a shovel and the application of some elbow grease.

Next time we see one of those neighbours on the street we may smile, remembering that conversation over grumbling that the snowplow just filled in the entry to the driveway.

We should treasure this thing we have in common. Everyone’s got at least one cool (sometimes literally) weather story to tell.

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