This morning, as I was adding to my garbage bin before garbage pick up, I noticed that my neighbor’s garbage can was laying on its side on the ground. I walked over and set it up so that when the garbage truck arrives it can pick it up. With everything so automated, if a garbage can is laying on its side on the ground, the truck can’t pick it up. And I have noticed that no one bothers to actually get out of the truck and set it up properly, so they just drive by, leaving the garbage bin and garbage laying on the street. With the enormous winds we have been having in the last number of weeks, I imagine that there is a lot of garbage that does not get picked up because the wind keeps blowing the garbage bins over. Truly, those things would be much better designed if the wide part was at the bottom instead of at the top. Anyone with an ounce of engineering capabilities should have been able to figure that one out.
So as I am walking back to my house, I encounter a woman walking her two dogs. I greet her “good morning” and she greets me back. Then she says, “They said it wasn’t supposed to rain until after 8! And it is starting now and I have a number of blocks to go. I guess that I will have to be soaked by the time I get home.” We laughed and she went on her way.
This got me to thinking about how much we rely upon things like weather predictions and phone apps to tell us what is “supposed to” be happening and when. I grew up on a farm, so I actually either look out the window or go outside and look at the sky to see what is shaking and what is likely happening in the next half hour. I could have informed her that we are getting rain. That, to me, was obvious. Nowadays I am much better of a barometer than a meteorologist. As soon as the barometric pressure changes, I feel it. It is not that I have arthritis or anything like that. It is migraines. It starts with my ears…hearing wind whooshing through them. As the storm gets closer it begins to sound like a freight train blasting through my head. I can then hear a pin drop in another province. It really is quite horrible, but I do have methods of dealing with it that make it more bearable.
But even with that system of prediction, and even with our weather reports and apps, I believe that we, as humans in general, have forgotten one thing. The element of surprise.
My mother always used to say, “There is one thing that you can always expect….the unexpected.” She was one who was quite used to the twists and turns that life brings along. She got quite used to dealing with unexpected circumstances and I got to witness how she would deal with those all through my life growing up. It taught me how to also roll with the punches and allow myself to go with the flow.
As a result, I do not invest too much certitude in ANYTHING. But I also am able to see patterns for what they are. I can also see what the unexpected might bring along, so I end up saying things that others find to be quite implausible and yet, as predicted, they come true. It is not that I hold fast to any of those predictions, because, as mentioned, something else unexpected could always change the course of events. But I think I see a larger overview than many seem to, thus I am able to see a variety of likely outcomes. As things move along, the variety narrows down and then becomes something most likely. Yet still, there could be a last second twist that changes the entire game.
So when I look at my weather app on my phone, I tend to pay more attention to the predicted temperature than I do the predictions about rain and snow and such. The rain and snow can vary a lot from one side of the city to the other, and the app does not know which part of town you live in, so there is quite a large variance of accuracy.
I just look outside, feel the barometric pressure in my body, and know whether or not to take an umbrella. And still, I allow myself to expect the unexpected.