There has been 'bad weather' today and it made me think about what bad weather means.
As a therapist working outdoors I am more connected to the weather than when I am working indoors or via zoom, and the weather is more central to the work that I do rather than somehing I might occasionally glimpse out the window.
People sometimes ask me about how I manage bad weather, and at first I thought about some practical solutions - there are some more sheltered spots I can find where I work (my favourite is a group of pine trees with a huge canopy you can shelter under and branches you can perch on); my clients and I can dress for the weather with sturdy shoes and waterproof jackets.
But what if we challenge the idea that bad weather is something we can avoid? The covid pandemic has affected everyone - it's been the bad weather of life. It has often been described as a storm, a storm we are all in, but with the realisation that we might be in very different boats.
What do we do in a storm? Well in today's thunder storm, I was firstly grateful for the aforementioned study shoes and waterproof coat. This made the storm easier to endure, in the same way that people's circumstances in the pandemic have shaped the effects of this life storm.
Once it was clear the rain was coming down hard, I decided to find some shelter in the forest.
Sometimes we need to find some shelter and pause and wait.
I realised the plan to go through the pasture to the lake was not a great idea because it was so exposed.
Sometimes bad weather causes us to change course.
Finally the rain eased and I headed out of the forest towards the walled garden. It was warm, maybe a bit too warm under my zipped up jacket. There was some blue sky on the horizon but I wasn't sure if it was the sign of better weather coming or just a gap between the showers with more rain to come.
That's what the pandemic feels like in the UK at the moment. The rain is easing off, there's blue sky on the horizon, but it's hard to forecast exactly how it's going to be and feel.
It felt good to make this connection - to understand and name this uncertainty.
One thing that's absolutely true of all weather is that it comes and it goes again. Even the most violent of storms dissipate. There's sometimes damage, sometimes not, but weather, good and bad, is the stuff of life.