More musings about the weather in my brain, by L. E. Taylor
A couple of months ago, I was moved to write about the changing seasons in my native state and how it affected my worldview.
Born in February, in the first half of the last century, my first bundled exit from St. Mary’s Hospital in the arms of my Grandma Helena, was not into a warm sedan beneath some covered, radiant-heated portcullis, but through a snow squall down a long expanse of stone steps to the curb.
It was not a hardship. Not for Helena, nor for my mother Grace. Nor for my father Elgan, a native southerner. And certainly not for me, who was their principal object of care. In the northern maritime states, as in the prairies and mountains, Up North is not somewhere else, it is home. However the cold might register on the thermometer, it could always be colder, and would certainly in time, be much warmer.
No big deal. Just the cavalcade of life
I was reminded of this fact as I watched a couple of televised events last week: the National Hockey League Winter Classic with the Toronto Maple Leafs playing the Detroit Red Wings outdoors, and the Forty-Niners-Packers game played at Green Bay Wisconsin. Both games were played in sub-zero temperatures, before full stadiums of 105,000 (Michigan Stadium), and 80,000 (Lambeau Field) respectively. The Michigan venue provided a constant blizzard that required frequent shoveling by cadres of snowmen on skates.
The weather was a hindrance to the players and a source of acute discomfort to the spectators. Commentators kept talking about it. Everyone loved the adventure. People who cherished their warmth above all things, of course, were not there.
An hour or so ago, a friend of mine sent me a collection of photos of a lighthouse festooned with layers of wind-sculpted January ice.* You can see more of these images by clicking here.
The beacon stands at the end of a pier in southern Lake Michigan. It is one of one-hundred-fifteen on the coastline of the State of Michigan, home to the most coastal lighthouses of any U. S. state or Canadian province. (Click here to see more Michigan lighthouses.)
Spring, summer, and fall, these lighthouses guide mariners through the inland seas that form our state. For a century and a half they have provided light in the shrieking green scud of angry storms and the foggy blackness of starless nights.
That’s how they got their name, they are houses of light.
Cloaked in ice, with no ships to warn… they sleep.
Stay warm. Stay alert. The lights will come on in the spring.
Happy New Year.
*The image above is credited to Tom Gill. For more of his images, you can visit his page here.