Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar Vortex

Snowmaggedon. Snowquester. And now ... the Polar Vortex.

Used to be, only hurricanes had names. Now rain, snow — even cold snaps — do.

There's something homey about naming a weather system, something that binds us to it. True, there is a cheekiness about it, a bit like the arm-clasping, shoulder-hugging person who calls you by a nickname you've never liked or used. But it makes it easy to refer to it later; it's a handle, a quick reference.

But listening to the wind roar in yesterday, hearing its powerful rush, seeing this morning's thermometer reading (1!), I have this feeling that the weather would rather remain anonymous, mysterious, even magisterial. That which should not be spoken aloud, only witnessed.

Reducing it to a nickname may make it easier to take, but it doesn't diminish its power.


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