the weather. it's a foolproof topic, unlike money, religion and politics. in fact, in my case, it's even safer than telling your grandparents what your career plan is (for all those playing at home, i am a happily semi-directionless no-hoper who lives with her parents).
i grew up in the country, the daughter of a sheep-farmer. a sheep farmer who also happened to be a glider pilot. i never thought it was weird that my father could pause to pass the time of day with any old country folk and devote the majority of conversation to the weather: past, present and future. it's a currency of sorts: the bizarre competition between farmers of how many cm of rain they've had. in drought times, even an extra drip or drop inspire envy and a general propensity to wring one's hands and look to the sky.
without even knowing, you learn things about clouds. for making farmers happy, you want the heavy wet cloud, full of rain. for making glider pilots happy, you want the fluffy ones, full of rising hot air and promise.
when i moved to canada it seemed normal to monitor the weather so closely; this was the first time it had ever been relevant to me personally. la nina, cold fronts, snow, inverted temperatures. forecasted snow could change your whole attitude about life. it meant early nights for early powdery starts. or it meant late nights, resigning yourself to waking up late, hungover, listening to rain.
something i have noticed since i returned to australia- the clouds. australian clouds are like nothing i saw in canada. they're fluffy- almost caricatures of themselves.
inevitably, while i soak up the winter sunshine on the very farm where i grew up listening to weather talk, enjoy the clear cold blue days, i must admit that for the rest of my life, the weather here is exactly what it should be. there are thunderstorms, there are windy afternoons that make the pine trees whistle, there are peaceful still summer days for mowing the lawn and finishing up on the deck with a beer. and no matter where i live, waking up to rain will instinctively make my heart sing.
there's a lot more to life than the weather, i know that's true. still, there's something nice about living so close to the earth, relying on it for your lives and your happiness. i'm happy to talk weather with my grandfather if it means i have something to say to him that we both agree upon. yup, this is me, embracing my wholesome country upbringing. it may be the flavour of my writing for the next few months.