in defense of talking about the weather.

In the real world - and especially in the blogging world - we talk a lot about the weather. It's an act that's easy enough to explain. Seasonal shifts are an neutral topic of conversation that require little emotional investment and rarely lead to arguments. The phrase itself is short-hand for speaking with cliches: "talking about the weather" is synonymous with mindless chatter.  

As humans, we are increasingly tuned in to a digital landscape. Weather-talk is one of the few ways we still acknowledge our natural environment, rather than the mediated environment that makes up most of our work and leisure time. It's how we access the big picture. When a person at the check-out counter says "70 degrees! finally!" it's a rare opportunity to acknowledge forces of change, unusual in casual conversation.

The same is true for many other manifestations of weather talk. At the beginning of every month, when people say things like "I can't believe it's April already!" in some, far off (or maybe not so far off way) they are talking about their own mortality. "Time won't slow down! So here I am, just hurtling ever-faster towards death."

I take a similar approach to the ubiquitous cherry-blossom pictures on Instagram. Yes, of course they're beautiful. But those photos also praise the world outside our screens. They encourage us to recognize the ways it delights and surprises us, often over night. 

Weather-talk is how we connect with nature and also how we connect to each other. With hundreds of channels and literally billions of websites, people live in an increasingly specialized world. Heck, even when we aren't sitting at a desks reading esoteric articles about specific interests, we often spend time in our own little world: headphones in, rapidly scrolling as we stare at our iPhone screen.  Weather is one of the few things, besides tragedy, a community can still experience together. 

So, whether or not "weather talk" is shallow ... I believe there is something deeply valuable in speaking, on a daily basis, about the awe-inspiring natural world we all live in. 

And with that being said: the sun is out! good god almighty, I'm glad it's spring! 

(photos) digital, for once | magnolias in Eugene, Or. 
Twitter FaceBook

Pin It

16 comments:

  1. i don't think i ever seen anybody take this subject on like you did here. a lot of bloggers mention weather and the effects it has on their mood on their blog one time or the other and some do it quiet often. i've lived in different climates throughout my life and actually enjoy it when people write about it. it might be a shallow topic, but it gives me a little insight into their everyday life.

    leyla.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. leyla, you make such a good point about "weather talk" online. It also connects us to far-off others and to their natural environment, which can be really different than our own. I know, for example, I appreciate seeing pictures of summer + people swimming on the blogs I read from the southern hemisphere during the long american winters.

      Delete
  2. I'm a self-proclaimed nature gal, myself. What's happening outside determines a fairly large part of who I am and what I do. I find myself discussing the weather on a regular basis and I'm so glad you've given it the level of importance it deserves. Lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the weather is of tantamount importance to people who do things outside (and anyone who has ever planned an outdoor birthday party will know what you're talking about!) These days, the majority of people spend so much time inside. Weather talk connects city-folk to the outdoors again in the way you nature-gals never lost!

      Delete
  3. Beautiful and insightful. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. "...they are talking abou their own mortality."

    How will I ever think about weather chatter the same way again? Thanks for putting this into words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, I am absolutely nuts about your poetry so that is so nice to hear.

      Delete
  5. i think about life and death through blossoming flowers lately. but you take it to the next level.
    I think it shows us the cycle of life. and yes, i'm talking about my own mortality.

    p.s : i'm obsessed with these pictures. do you mind if i print the last one???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Niken, of course you can print one! I'll e-mail you a JPEG of it right now to maintain the quality.

      Delete
  6. I am a sucker for flower photos! Always a bit special.

    Sweet Apple Lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post was perfect - I don't think I've ever thought about weather so thoughtfully. I love the connection to community. It can seem these days that we have more topics pushing us apart and I'm always for something that brings us together. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh! I knew I would love this post. So thoughtful and articulate and absolutely beautiful. I often think about weather the same way, how it's a great equalizer and symbolic of who we are as humans.

    ReplyDelete
  9. And I just saw that Blog Milk designed your blog. I love Ana- she's a dear blogging friend from way back in the day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i could stare at these pictures for days. wow. and i totally agree, especially as someone who talks about the weather CONSTANTLY. i'm sort of obsessed :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. i thought only canadians obsessed about the weather but maybe you're right, it's all of us :) such an interesting post.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for commenting, Darling Reader! I read + love each and every one of them. (Anonymous commenting has been turned off due to robots)

ashore All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger