The other night the TV weatherman posed an interesting question. Which season, he asked, do you think is warming the fastest here in the Midwest? Turns out it’s winter. Out west, it’s spring, but here our winters have been averaging a few degrees warmer every year.
This is of course an effect of the global warming that is not happening. The vast majority of the world’s scientists agree that global warming, or what they are now calling climate change, is the greatest problem facing our planet. Fortunately we here in America do not have to listen to scientists, because we have career politicians to keep us informed.
It is only a few days before Christmas and I have not worn a coat yet this year. Yes, sweaters and light jackets, but no heavy coats yet. This is unheard of, or nearly so, in the Great American Midwest. This is either cause for concern or jubilation, depending on who you talk to. Some people like the cold weather and miss it. Some hate the cold weather and remind us that it will soon get cold enough. January and February will be frigid and icy, just you wait.
I heard a botanist the other day saying that our climate here in Missouri is now mimicking the climate of Arkansas, the state due south of us. I’ve been to Arkansas often, and I note that the same crape myrtle that doesn’t bloom until August around here blooms in May there. So that is a significant climate shift. Except of course for the fact that it is not happening.
One thing I have often noted about people’s interactions with the seasons is that they are most compelling in their changes from one to the other. People who have a favorite season like the transition to that season most of all. Autumn is the favorite season of more people than any other, with spring close behind. Summer and winter are distant contenders. When you ask people what they like, they usually cite the change from summer to autumn, or from winter to spring. It’s change they like, the feeling of something welcome and new: cooler days after the heat of summer, warmer days after the chill of winter.
I’m the same way. I try to be creative in my life, and I find that creativity peaks when change is in the air. Lately I’ve felt a little stymied in my creative endeavors, and I am now choosing to blame the weather. Winter has been dilatory in arriving, if indeed he ever intends to get here. Those long, cold afternoons spent indoors with books and papers scattered about are a distant dream. I’m sure it will come though, just as sure as I am that once it does, I’ll be able to find another excuse for my lack of creativity.