Like a conspiratorial merchant, blue can elide detail and flatten context within the pleasure it provides. Azure sky can be lustrous and turquoise water can be inviting – almost as if adjectives were more important than verbs. So much effort is expended understanding what the sky means, may mean, and has meant, that we forget our human capacity to survive the depravity of slightly less-warm mornings and hair-adjusting breezes.

Weather dictates preparedness, and should be treated as no more and no less. Yes, mud season is unpleasant, but with the right tools, it is almost even more enjoyable: traipsing through dirt makes an experience all the better earned. True, a light mist can become a typhoon, but our modern mind catastrophizes this likelihood into a frequency that is undeserved at best. The popularity of precise weather measurement tools has only worsened this halting trend: now we must prepare for temperature changes of every ten minutes at every hundred feet of trail. Complexity engenders further complications, whereas simplicity demands broad understanding that deepens with experience. Bring proper clothes and progressive mentality: the outdoors experience changes in snow and mud and sleet, but is not impossible. Look only once at the forecast, otherwise the future weather will continue to cloud the experience of the present outdoors.

That the trails empty on imperfect days speaks to a society that undervalues its own potential – its potential to survive minor aberrations, its potential to admire variations in expected phenomena.

[Creative Commons Photo]