The Negative Weather Vane: Week #6 – 7/17/19
I am not a big fan of people who are always negative. It’s draining, and often just pops the positive bubble I might be trying to float around, you know?
But here’s the thing. I am that person when it comes to the weather. I’m never satisfied.
If I could order the rainfall I desired, it would be 1 rain event per week averaging around 1 inch. That would be ideal.
But of course, that rarely happens. It is always, it seems, raining too much or too little.
My dissatisfaction with the weather is just part of being a farmer. You almost know you are a farmer when you begin to hate answering questions about the weather. Because you know you are going to sound like that downer dude you hate.
I have to almost brace myself when someone asks in a very cheery, well-intentioned way, “You must be happy with all this sunshine!” Little do they know I’ve been obsessively checking the forecasts for when it might rain next. Or counting the extra hours we now have to work to move around irrigation reels instead of getting other pressing work done.
It’s hard not to grimace after a 3 inch rain when someone says, “Wow! All this rain must be great for your crops!” Again, well-intentioned, but not a statement I can get behind. I’m thinking about soil loss and which parts of my fields will be too wet for way too long.
The weather is completely uncontrollable, sometimes in a maddening way. It also happens to be at the core of farming. Inevitable. Shaping every action, every timeline. A constant source of complete invariability.
If you aren’t a farmer, you don’t tend to see weather that way. The weather is something to consider more in one’s relation to being in it. The impact of weather mostly affects one’s body temperature or weekend plans. It does not impact their livelihood. So as well-intentioned as their chit chat and assumptions about weather might be, they are often way off target through when compared to the farming lens.
It’s almost like farmers and non-farmers speak a different language when it comes to weather. And the chasm of that difference is hard for me to span. I always come out on the other side of a weather conversation feeling like my weather vane points consistently to complain.
And the most ironic thing of all is that I LOVE working in the outdoors! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t farm. And yet, I can’t seem to talk about the weather or answer questions about the weather positively. Go figure.