The Midwest winter this year has been anything but winter-y. There has only been one snowfall thus far and we have had more days with a temperature above 50 degrees than we have had mornings with frost on the ground. Don't get me wrong, these temperatures aren't all bad, but I like Winter. I like the chill in the air, and the way the ground looks covered in a blanket of undisturbed snow. I also love the way Winter temperatures inspire a whole new menu for dinner. I mean who wants to eat chili when it's 60+ degrees outside?!?
I also find myself wondering at these seasonal swings. I mean last night we had tornado sirens at 3:00 in the morning. What is happening when a phenomenon that used to be 1. rare and 2. confined to summer months devastates an area all summer and then comes back for more in January. I don't have a fear of severe weather. I'm personally probably closer to being a storm chaser than hiding in fear. I love the awesome power that is displayed in tornadoes and lightening. But I am also sensible of the complete destruction that acts of God or natural disasters can leave behind. And really, the Midwest has had enough in the last year.
Of late I've found myself reading several articles aimed at explaining away the strange weather patterns over the past few years. As a result I only find myself wishing that meteorologists were ever close to being right about anything :). Some say global warming is to blame; others say La Nina. There are of course those who believe God is punishing the wicked; and still more who cite gravity, tectonic plates, and underground volcanoes.
I don't know what to believe. But I do know what I wish. I wish for four seasons, in a row, that exhibit the correct seasonal weather. A taste of Winter so we can appreciate the Spring. The rains of Spring so we can appreciate the dry, warm air of Summer. The blistering hot Midwest Summer so we can all breathe a sigh of relief at the change to Fall. And the falling leaves to ready us for another taste of Winter.
Let's not be in such a hurry to get back to Summer that we forget that each season has a purpose. And let's hope for a few inches of snow. For a snow-day home from school and an excuse to go sledding until we're numb and then thaw out with a bowl of soup and a cup of hot chocolate. Because really, that's what Winter is about.