For a Minute or Two, Maybe

I did not know what weather meant until I went to Wisconsin.
Winter in Hawai‘i, more rain. Summer, more heat.
Spring and fall were transition times, okay seasons.
Rain gradually increased, then heat the same, respectively.
There were pleasant trade-winds too, at any time of year,
and occasional humid Kona winds from the south.
Nightly news weather reports were a few words, a single breath:
Sunny with trades in the 5 – 10 mile range, or,  
cloudy with a chance of showers in the morning.
Highs in the mid-80s with a low tonight of 72 degrees.

Seeing five minutes or more dedicated to weather on the nightly news,
with maps and arrows from one end of the country to the other,
Canada and the Gulf of Mexico jumping into the action,
this was all a novelty.
The significance of those lengthy analytical news segments snuck up on me,
like the changing leaves, pretty indeed, masking
that evil thermometer drop slouching up behind.
A winter jacket, gloves, scarves, hats, layering, all new to me.
Wind chill. Sleet. Trudging through snow. Icy sidewalks.
Sub-zero days with new records, always new records,
for most days in a row in negative territory.

And then there was summer in Madison.
The nauseating smell of cooking meat at Oscar Mayer,
mixed with humidity so thick it rendered you
that proverbial stew in your own juices,
the temperature topping 100 degrees daily.

I live back in Hawai‘i now, land of two seasons.
Maybe it’s nostalgia, possibly dementia,
but every once in a while I miss that Madison weather.

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