The Weather Patterns Have A Bit Too Much “Pattern” To Them, Lately

In the past two weeks, we’ve had pretty much the same pattern of weather. Early in the week, temperatures rise and we get some rain. The rain and warmer temperatures melt all but the most packed-down, stubborn traces of all the snow that came before it. Then, before the ground has time to dry out, the temperatures drop, everything freezes, and we get a heavy snow. Two weeks ago, it was a wet, heavy snow that made travel miserable and that threatened to break the back of anyone forced to shovel it by hand. It was a damp, clinging thing that forced me to cut my daily walk short as it soaked through my clothing and left me exposed to the bitter bite of the heavy winds. Last week’s snow was light, letting itself get cast about by the raging winds so much that it was almost impossible to tell how much snow had fallen. Sections of my walk were free of snow while others where treacherous as the ice that formed from the puddles that remained the night before hid beneath blankets of snow. After each snow, there was a day of cold as it all settled in and froze before warmer temperatures returned, melted the snow, and rain finished off what remained.

It has been the same pattern for two weeks. I’m writing this still in the middle of the second pass of the pattern, so I can only hope it broke [it sorta did, but not really]. The forecast makes it look like this was just an odd coincidence, but it is still possible for the weather to morph back to the same thing we’ve had two weeks in a row. I don’t know if I’m ready for that level of cursed, Groundhog Day level repetition of weather. 2023 has already been a pretty awful year, so it doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me that it might wind up repeating itself a whole bunch. It already feels like we’re in some kind of blighted, off-kilter version of reality, so that sensation getting worse wouldn’t really surprise me much. It would suck, sure, but that kind of seems like the natural progression of things.

I wish I could enjoy it a bit more, since I do love a good snow, but the biting winds and the immediate melting makes it difficult to find pleasure in my daily walks since I have to spend so much time watching out for ice. That said, I got a nice, snowy walk in during the latest bout, though. It was unpleasantly windy, but the snow was still light enough to not feel beleaguered and the chill kept it from being damp enough to freeze. I still had to deal with hidden ice here or there, but I was on a path I walked yesterday, so I knew where all the ice would be.

I saw one other walker who was not so fortunate, though. I saw them returning from the far-end of their walk, shortly after discovering that they had slipped and fallen on a patch of hidden ice. It was interesting, in an abstract way, to identify this person by the tracks they left as we passed going opposite directions. We were not the only ones on the walking path that day, but their tracks where distinct. It was an easy puzzle to solve. I did not acknowledge that they had slipped and fallen not that far from where we had crossed paths since they seemed to be walking without issue and they greeted me warmly.

As one who tends to hide my feelings from others, I recognize that their outward warmth was not a definite sign that they were still in good spirits, but the only change to their tracks had been that they’d opted to move off the path with it’s potentially hidden ice to walk in the weeds next to the path. An equally treacherous path, given the number of surprise dips and hidden holes that are completely undetectable when fresh snow blends it all into one depthless mass that hides all but the most significant elevation changes.

That might be why they turned around when they did. I did not see any further signs of this person falling, though, so perhaps they decided they had risked enough for their day. Perhaps the bitter wind drove them back to their car (though they were dressed more warmly than I was, by a fair margin). Perhaps they only wished to go on a short walk. I will never know, unless I am trapped in some kind of weird time vortex that has me repeating a week of time and weather patterns with enough slight variation to keep me from realizing what was happening. And, you know, allows for my perception of time to continue unimpeded, relying on the sort of daily variability inherent in my life to keep me from realizing that everything is exactly the same if I behave the same.

It’s probably just a coincidence. I’m probably just tired from not sleeping well, worn out from the stress of the year so far, and dispirited from getting another job rejection. I’m probably just wrapping myself up in idle speculation because everything else on my mind is depressing. It’s probably nothing but a weird little blip of weather repetition in a geographic area known for relative chaos. Probably. Still, I think I’m going to keep an eye out, next week, for this same person again and, if I can swing it, get out there early enough to prevent them from slipping just in case. Even if my weeks are repeating, it would feel nice to know I can change things for the better, even if its just a little bit.

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