Valerie’s Voice From La Ronge

Weather is always a topic for conversation, and more…
My usual comment – “The only guarantee about the weather? – there will be some!”
In my years on the Prairie, the weather was never right. It was too hot, too cold, too much sun when we need rain and so on.
Having just spent more than two weeks on a five-day trip, weather dominated. Today, I don’t want to look at another weather forecast as long as I live, but, of course, what happens first thing?
Yep, check the weather. It’s an addiction. And maybe for some it is.
When my kids were small, I was up first. I never checked the weather because I let the dog out first. Then I dressed for the weather I encountered at the doorway.
Others in the household didn’t see my logic, but for the most part it worked for me.
In my years in ministry in the United Church on the Prairie, I always knew I was responsible for the weather and everyone’s curling scores. The weather was usually wrong, and I heard about it, sometimes with humour, but, often in very clear terms.
“Did you order this [weather],” someone would surely say to me when we met around town.
Now we have technology that will tell us the weather for the next week or more.
Of course, we, when we farmed, had the farmer’s almanac and its predictions.
While we can joke and complain about the weather, it has more serious connotations on our lives, particularly in the light of climate change.
In this month’s edition we have two stories directly related to climate and weather in northern Saskatchewan.
We are home to many elements, particularly peatlands, that offer services to us to protect our environment and support us, not only us, but areas far and wide.
It amazes me in the summer we have wildfires burning close but no effects from smoke; but wildfires can burn in another part of the country and our air is filled with smoke.
I remember my first experience. Living in Winnipeg, I woke up one morning and the air was filled with smoke.
I became alarmed quickly and thought the house, or one near, was on fire.
No, I was told. It’s smoke from wildfires in the north.
It took me a bit to get the concept.
How we look after our environment can impact people in far off places.
This world, so separated in many ways, is one environment in other ways. What happens in one part of the world may seem far off, until it is in our backyard.
Being aware and caring about the environment arounds us are two important pieces for a healthier life. What we want for our children and grandchildren have become important in our time with the changes we experience in weather patterns and systems that affect their future more and more.
Weather can be our teacher.
Where I live in the north we are closer to the land and experience the amazing beauty that a sunny morning offers.
I don’t have a dog to let out in the morning anymore to check the weather, so I don’t do as well with gauging the day’s weather as I did in those days. That gives me a nostalgic feeling as I write.
On a beautiful warm sunny day, I can go out and sit by the lakeside and enjoy the peace and it’s an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the environment around me.