Weather or Not

Funny thing about weather … Sometimes it’s hard to live with but we can't live without it, something we complain about but nobody does anything about it. Weather is an entity in itself, setting the tone for how we integrate our experience of the day or night. Weather, being nomadic, often travels thousands of miles to greet us; it’s an entity beholden to no one.

In the Northeast, our four seasons allow an opportunity to have a multitude of experiences determined by weather— some of which we might not appreciate. The one constant is that it will change. That's a given. Similarly, we humans have internal weather systems formed by the values, beliefs, and attitudes we hold dear. Occasionally, life may send an emotional storm that challenges those values. We may feel tested, and wish for an escape to a comfort zone where we can regroup energy lost to those challenges and learn from them

At Kripalu, winter can be an opportunity to dive deeper into self-exploration and inquiry, while also offering great recreational activities. It’s been said that snow is like holy water made frozen, blessing the earth with a new garment of white, symbolizing purity of spirit and fresh intention. 

Here’s a short poem I wrote after 40 years of managing snow and ice storms as Grounds Supervisor at Kripalu. It’s a reflection on Inner and Outer weather systems.

My hands are frozen from the Snow
Cascading shivers reaching to my Toes
Cold rain works its way down my Back
The Wind whips by oops there goes my Hat
As I plot my snowplow's Track

Old man Winter tells me what I need to Know
What I think is what I Sow
What I sow is what will Grow
In my heart is where it will Stow

Communing with nature and all her wild and living Things
Teaches me my moods like clouds have Wings
In the distance a church bell Rings
In a nearby tree a songbird Sings
An uncertain harbinger of an early Spring
I contemplate all this by evenings fires Glow
Looking out the bay window I see here comes more Snow

Kevin “Moose” Foran was born on the day now celebrated as Earth Day, and has spent his life working in partnership with nature. A graduate of Berkshire County’s first Master Gardener class, Moose spent 40 years as a steward of Kripalu’s natural landscape. 

Kevin “Moose” Foran, Kripalu Grounds Supervisor, was born on the day now celebrated as Earth Day, and has spent his life working in partnership with nature.

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