a journey from the heart

Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

February Poem of the Month

The weather this month has been anything but usual. Here in Oregon, we have been warm with little precipitation. Our mountains have maybe 15% of the snowpack they should have, our rivers are low, the rain comes in a misty drizzle. While I was in Pennsylvania the weather was odd; minus zero temps, little snow, lots of sunshine.

But on my yoga mat I find stability in my own weather patterns. The fluctuations remind me to return to my breath, to return to the only thing that seeks my attention, the present moment.

This month’s poem comes from my sunrise yoga practice, from within the storm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A Piece of the Storm
By Mark Strand

From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the moment it landed.
That’s all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking
To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,
A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that
Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,
Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,
That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:
‘It’s time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening.’

Snow then ice

What started as a mild snow storm Thursday, the 6th is now an ice storm. Tomorrow we are supposed to reach 47F. We shall see…. Currently 29F.

20140208-114012.jpg Day 1 – A squirrel finds sanctuary.

20140208-112416.jpg Day 2 – Heavy Snow. Broke the record for Feb 7th with 6.8″.

Blanketed in white below the mindfulness bell.

Day 3 (today) – Total snow 9.3″. Now the ice storm.

20140208-112638.jpg My car dressed in icicles.

Orion (on left) and Thor watching the freezing rain. BTW, the snowstorm is named Orion. Guess he got his fifteen seconds of fame!

Icicles on the mindfulness bell. Lovely, indeed.


7 a.m. Leaving the pool after swimming my first mile.

Orion watching the flakes swirl and the neighborhood kids play.

Limbs dressed in long white gloves.

Contemplating flurries.

A good day to read a book.


Snow Angels

What a glorious day! The quiet hush of the world wrapped in a blanket. The gentle glow when day turns to night. I love the snow.

Especially when it comes as a surprise, and only rare occasion.

Pleasant dreams.


Cold Snap





How’s the weather?

I am a weather geek! I wear that badge with honor. While I am quite the amateur, when I was in graduate school I took a weather and climate course that was just so much fun. But my love of weather, the wilder and crazier the better, didn’t start in grad school. It actually started in the womb.

Let me tell you a little story, one that I did not hear for the first time until I was in my early 30’s.

My mother and father were living off the coast of Florida, my father in the Air Force. About 7 1/2 months into my mother’s pregnancy (with me) a thunderstorm struck hard across the island. In her infinite wisdom my mother got up to close the storm blinds, and as she grabbed the metal chain (not the wooden toggle at the end) the house was struck by lightning.

Now close your eyes and picture this: my mother, 7 1/2 months pregnant, unable to let go of the chain as the electricity from the lightning races through her (did I mention 7 1/2 months pregnant) body. At some point my father knocked her away from the chain and she appeared fine. The next morning when she visited the military doctor, he says, “Why Mrs. Hamilton, the baby is just fine. She’s swimming around in all that fluid.” (Uh, last I heard, fluid is a conductor of electricity.)

Needless to say, within about 24 hours, labor began, and lasted for three weeks. Yup, you better believe it; even then I was one smart cookie. I arrived three weeks early! It was no longer safe in that warm, dark environment. Besides, it was obvious all the excitement was out here, in the real world.

Since then I have chased thunderstorms in California, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina, although truth be told I never really had to chase them in NC, they just magically appeared. There is nothing more satisfying than the rumble of thunder and the electric snap of lightning. (I now live in my eco-home of Oregon, where thunderstorms rarely occur, and while I don’t miss the humidity that is such a part of the best thunderstorm environments; heavy sigh…I do love a good thunderstorm….)

Of course it wasn’t until grad school, when I took that weather and climate class that I thought perhaps becoming a meteorologist would be fun. And then I thought about being in grad school, and all the work that would entail to start a new degree, and decided being an amateur was just fine by me. (Although I do still toy with the notion of taking my undergrad work in anthropology and applying it to an ethnographic field study of storm chasers.)

Anyway, for all you amateur (and not so amateur) weather folk out there, if you have a smartphone I highly recommend checking out the Weathermob app. It’s the perfect venue to report your local weather and include photos as well. For now, a little teaser….


Happy weather hunting! (Or just basking in the sun.)

P.S. I am @wldwthrwmn