Currently in New York we are enjoying a burst of atypical November weather. I’m writing this as I sit outside on a lounge chair in shorts and a tank top.
The temperature reading on my phone is 67° but it feels warmer. When it’s 67° in the summer, I’m wearing long sleeves.
November’s warmth is a sensory illusion: the weather feels warmer than the temperature reading because the sun is close, a sign that winter is coming. It’s not a summer warmth.
Meanwhile, the winds of change are blowing the leaves off the trees, sending golden leaves swirling through the air before they land in a soft blanket on the front yard. Another sign that winter is coming.
Nature is preparing, even though it feels like summer.
While I will take warm weather whenever and wherever I can get it, in some ways I feel like a November heat wave is the worst form of deception.
A False Complacency
The November warmth can lure us into complacency, tricking us into thinking that winter won’t come after all, or if it does, it won’t be so harsh this year. Maybe we don’t need to prepare for winter.
The current state of the weather echoes in the news. Any belief that the coronavirus would recede, has been blown away, as the virus has come roaring back stronger than ever, like a surprise November Nor’easter.
Over the weekend, many people exhaled in celebration when the U.S. Election results were announced. The election of our first ever female VP appears to have shattered the penultimate glass ceiling for women and minorities.
As much as I want to celebrate these milestones, in many ways the election results feel like a November heat wave. In some ways, this is the worst possible outcome for the type of change we need to effect in our country, as focus on the wins may obscure the very real work left ahead to create lasting change.
Celebrating wins is important, and a breath of warm fresh air is a blessing, especially in a year of quarantines and lockdowns. I’ll take all the time outside I can get while the weather is warm and the sun is shining.
Winter is Coming
That said, let’s not confuse this warmth for signs of an everlasting summer or an early spring. 67-degrees only feels this warm when the sun is low in the sky.
Remember that it feels warmer than it is because the sun is lower in the sky.
Nature moves in a predictable cycle, and she doesn’t skip seasons.
This is our reminder that winter is coming. Perhaps sooner than we think.
Are you prepared to navigate the storms?