Atmospheric Conditions


Back in Vermont for "Lake Time," our annual escape to the rural northeast. We celebrate the summer solstice here, and spend two weeks with family, hiking, bicycling, and kayaking (the lake is still too cold for swimming!). My favorite activity, though, is watching the weather move across mountains, fields, and lake (it involves very little movement on my part). Since the light creeps up at 4:30 each morning and doesn't spill back into the lake until 10 pm, there is lots of daylight in which to notice and photograph the atmospheric changes. The sky show shifts constantly—one minute I'm sitting in the warm sun staring at a fat, white cloud as it expands above the lake, the next I'm pulling on my sweater as the wind begins to whip up white caps and carry rain clouds from the mountains in my direction. The old New England expression certainly applies here: "If you don't like the weather, wait fifteen minutes." Just like my mind, I realize, though thoughts and feelings flow even faster than the clouds. I make a point of spending a few moments of each day carefully observing the weather inside, too, and recognizing that, if I just watch and don't get attached, any internal turmoil will just scoot across my brain sky and disappear. Inside or out, the atmospheric conditions may change, but the observer stays the same.