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A collective sigh drifts through closed up rooms and past the glass sentinels guarding against the frigid blasts seeking entrance. The sighs float through the air, mingling and curling around each other before dissolving into nothing more than an insubstantial wish. It is only early September, but the ground and the shivering trees are covered in icy drifts. The cars inch along the road, plowing doggedly toward their destinations.

The wondering of why we choose to live in such a temperamental environment is tangible. I can sense it from the driver in front of me, from the pedestrian on the sidewalk.

Thoughts unfurl: what if we lived in a place where tsunamis gathered and sometimes wiped out thousands of people and homes in one breath? What if the air around us was so heated and dry that almost all of the growing things had died, and only a few courageous stragglers remained, hanging on with ragged tenacity? What if our stars were hidden by a thick pall of gray cloud, man-made?

Instead, we live in a place where the sky is vast and the horizon goes on into eternity. Where wildlife wander around and through our days and where lordly mountains brood quietly over clear lakes, brilliant in their intensity.

It is true that we sometimes have hail in July and snowstorms in September. Perhaps, for the most part, that is okay.

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