There are two ways of looking at conversations about the weather.
In one, it is the ultimate in useless small talk: unimaginative and a statement of the obvious.
Case in point one:
“How about that rain”
“I know, it’s really raining out there”
“Yeah, it’s been raining all day!”
In the other, however, it is a social binder, bringing together people from different backgrounds and providing them with a common interest. A friend, who emigrated from Greece to Canada, once told me that he believed there was less political corruption in cold-weather countries. I do not intend to support or dispute that here, or to insult anyone from a warm weather country, but his reasoning was interesting. He believed that with harsh winters, people were more motivated to work together: to create shelter, warmth, and ultimately a stronger community. I have many examples of how, when living in Canada, the extreme weather motivated conversations, and connections, with people I would never have spoken with otherwise.
Case in Point 2:
Two people enter a building out of the freezing cold. They sigh together with relief, in unison. There are glances exchanged, laughter, a brief and pointless conversation that nevertheless creates a moment of solidarity, brightening an otherwise cold and bitter day.
“It’s so cold out there!”
“I know, crazy!”
So in Case in Point 1, talking about weather is a bad thing; in Case in Point 2, it is a good thing. Where in-between these two lines, does blogging about the weather fall?
I ask this because, as I set out to photograph the rain today, I realized that a good number of my posts this past month have centered around the weather. There is a practical reason for this. Photography is dependent on the light, and the quality and feel of the light is intimately tied to the weather. Since the entries for this blog are linked to the photos, which are based on visual inspiration, it makes sense that the weather has a strong influence on what I photograph and write about. Still, is this annoying small talk (or small monologue-ing, I suppose)? Or is it creating a connection with my readers, many of whom have endured the same weather that day- but may have responded to it, or seen in it, something different?
Whatever the answers to these questions, it is unlikely that they will change the influence the weather has on my blog. Looking back on this project, after the weather has changed several times (from spring, to summer, to autumn, and winter again), the weather trends, and how they affect me, may reveal something deeper about the year and about myself. Or they may be extremely obvious: it snowed in February; it rained in the spring; I was happy when the weather was nice. Wow.