So I'm writing this at 4.30pm on Monday 13th January. It's been one of those classic, challenging Scottish winter days. Those of us who have lived here for most of our lives know it all too well. It's been raining all through the night, so we wake up to water lying on the grass in the garden (it would be pretentious to call it a lawn, it's more like a marsh), the sound of strong winds blowing in all directions. The weather forecast says "4 degrees centigrade but feel like minus 2". That's the wind-chill factor. On days like this it cuts through the layers you've put on and heads straight for the marrow in your bones.
And it's dark. Well not-quite-dark at some point during the day, but it's such a subtle difference between dark dark and not-quite-dark that it's hard to pinpoint when night ends and day begins, and then when day ends and night begins again.
We don't like the rain. We don't like the wind. We don't like the dark.
In other words we don't like reality - that's a problem.
Truth is, there's beauty, awe, humour, and wry laughter in this weather.
The sky has changed colour and light in the fifteen minutes it's taken me to write this far. This affects how the silhouettes of the trees look. Dark blue has become a powerful threatening grey, yet in the distance the sky is clear and very pale blue, but glowing.
There are reflections of street lights, lights in people's homes, even the glowing low skyline, they bounce everywhere. On the wet road and pavement, on the cars parked up and down the street, on the puddles, and on the raindrops on my own window. So it may be dark but our darkness isn't real darkness, not if you live on a street with other houses around you, and street lights. Real darkness is another matter altogether.
The wind is a soundtrack, fast-paced, brooding, unstoppable. It is a thing of power and awe. We may not like it but we can admire and appreciate it.
The rain gives us water. It saves our life every day. The people we love are alive because of the rain so although we may not like the way it feels on our faces when blown our way by the howling wind, we must learn to love it. Appreciate it. Be grateful to it. We should wake up and do a dance of thanks to the heavens for making the rain pour down on our land and its lochs and rivers.
So here's to the dark, the wind, and the rain... and yes, to it stopping after a while and giving us a modicum of sunshine too. With mindfulness we really can learn to love our weather but that doesn't stop us hoping for a nicer, dryer, sunnier day every now and then!