Nature Knows

“All that nonsense about signs in nature, that’s just old wives’ tales,” the guy at the hardware store said. “You can’t tell nothin’ from looking at the sky and such.”

images4.jpegI grinned to myself. Really, don’t get involved, I thought. Then my mouth leaped ahead of my brain. “Say, the Redskins are playing today. You know, every time they play on a Thursday and it rained the day before, they win. It rained yesterday. Who do you like in the game?” I asked.

“With those stats, they might win today,” the guy said.images3.jpeg

I nodded. “It’d be nice.”
Now I understood him. He was a causal believer. Sport statistics can make you do that. The rain was no predictor of a win. In fact, it has nothing to do with the game. It’s not even a statistic, it’s a fluke.

But predicting the weather by nature is an old wives’ tale because the old wives’ were right. The mare’s tales scattered across the sky, followed by the clouds that look like farmer’s rows are a sign of a change in the weather. They mean a drop in temperature, maybe wind, and that combination often means rain, too.

mare’s tails cloudsYesterday, with a brisk wind sweeping the desert, I noticed old palm fronds falling off palms. Not fun it if hits your car–they are big and hard, but necessary for the palm to thrive.

We’ve gotten away from paying attention to nature, and it’s a shame. There is a lot to be learned my standing outside and looking up at the sky. At night the stars form stories to remember; during the day, you’ll know what weather is coming your way.

And at this time of year, it is not bad to remember stars that pointed to important events. The guy in the hardware store, disparaging old wives, I’ll bet he believes the Christmas story–that a star indicated Jesus birth, and called shepherd’s to attention, guided kings with gifts. Even then, we knew that signs of importance came from nature.

Sometime today, when you are racing through life, look up at the sky. Maybe it has something to tell you.

–Image: new moon: Clouds: quinn McDonald Star rise:

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach and develops training courses in communication. (c) 2007. All rights reserved.