Marilyn Heltzer: Brrr. I can’t believe how cold it is
It’s what we say these days. And being we’re on the verge of winter, let’s talk about the favorite topic of Minnesotans: the weather. More specifically, climate change. It’s not an idea that folks who meet regularly for coffee discuss. We tend to hang with people who share our beliefs. Any mention of global warming and whether it’s caused by human activity or just something that happens every few thousand years will be greeted by sage nods around the table.
A few weeks ago, the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy brought memories and stories of how bad it was for folks on the East Coast.
Katrina, the storm that buffeted the nation’s Gulf Coast, was back in 2005. Remember Katrina? They’re still recovering from that. And the Farmer’s Almanac, a staple for some, predicts a cold, snowy winter hereabouts.
But back to climate change. I prefer to call the state the world is in these days “climate chaos.” That’s not original. I heard it on the radio. But it fits. And my belief system does include the notion that we human beings are causing it.
As I’ve aged, I’ve responded to many dire predictions with, “Well, I don’t need to worry about that. I’ll be dead by then.” That’s a comforting thought, and it certainly lets off the hook about many things that will happen in the future. Including climate change.
Now, on to another topic, and I’ll tie this all together at the end. So read on.
Slogans and handed-down wisdom both help see us through our days. Here’s one that we can all appreciate: “One day at a time.” Again, it’s not original. Folks who go to AA and other 12-step programs recognize and live by that one. Another one I like is the wisdom of a 14th century nun, Julian of Norwich: “All Shall Be Well.” And there are Bible verse quoters who can reach into the good book and find a defense for any and all beliefs. I’ve been known to do that myself.
So, dear reader, as we venture into November, with its dim days and holidays to plan for, pick a slogan. A positive slogan. “Laugh and the world laughs with you.” It’s the first line of a poem by Emma Wheeler Wilcox. The Dalai Lama advises: “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Then there’s the Bobby McFerrin song, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Here we are with Thanksgiving this month and Christmas just ahead. Sure, it’s cold. But we have slogans and songs to see us through, and we know not what’s ahead. Maybe climate chaos this winter.
In the meantime, do have a great Thanksgiving