The recent and prolonged spate of unseasonably warm days often called “Indian Summer” has got me thinking about the future.
Actually, I prefer to call them “REM Days.” And here’s why.
Those listeners of a certain vintage will remember the 1987 hit “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by the legendary rock band REM. And I’m making an effort to shift away from terminology that feels outdated to describe the unusually warm days often occurring in late September or early October, but sometimes even experienced in December or March. In recent years both the temperature and number of days seem to be increasing.
And herein lies a paradox wrapped inside an oxymoron. On the one hand part of us welcomes the extension of warm, pleasant summer days, especially in anticipation of the upcoming winter. Or when we get a Christmas surprise, January thaw or early Spring, it reminds us of Summertime’s easy living. At the same time, in the context of climate change, we know these days are an aberration from the norm and they cause us to reflect on the severity of the weather permutations in the near future. We wonder if and when we’ll have snow, what will happen to the maples, and whether late 21st Century Vermont will bear any resemblance to the mid-20th Century Vermont enshrined in our collective conscious like a cover of Vermont life or Bing Crosby film.
And as the seasons go, so goes the political cycle.
We’ve been watching the Presidential election with all of its unfortunate political precedent unfold before our very eyes for about a year and a half. And here too is paradox. We view much of the campaign process with fear and loathing, yet we have a difficult time averting our eyes, ears and ultimately our minds. And sometimes, it’s those who express the most distain who have the most trouble turning away their gaze.
Who knows where humanity will be in another millennium or two. But for better or worse, it won’t be long now before we know where we stand on climate change. And even sooner, we’ll know the final results of the pending election.
Today is just another REM day…
And I feel fine.