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JENNY ADAMS: Weather is a bit like life – unpredictable

By Jenny Adams

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This week we passed the longest day on June 21, with many celebrations of Midsummer on June 24.

A beautiful summer's day.
A beautiful summer's day.

Opinion seems divided whether this is the middle of summer or its start. Recent weather reminds us that in the north of Scotland that’s even less clear.

As I write, the temperature is creeping back to the high teens, but yesterday I saw 10 degrees on the A96. We’ve had winds from every direction, some chillier than others. There’s been wet, though probably not enough for gardeners and farmers.

Whether beginning or mid, welcome to Scottish summer.

Unpredictability is the norm for our weather – though extremes are becoming more extreme through climate change.

Unpredictability is also the norm for life – though the world seems to be taking that to extremes too. Economically it’s hard to predict where prices are heading. Political life keeps shifting, locally and nationally. The war in Ukraine is making life difficult across Europe, something other conflict areas know too well.

And, of course, in our lives and the lives of those we love we never know what’s around the corner.

jenny adams up to date
jenny adams up to date

There are many examples of difficult changes that come unexpectedly. For these, I offer once more the serenity prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Yet not all unpredictable events and moments in life are challenging – we can also be surprised by joy. We may need to consciously notice those things, especially the small pleasures available in a Scottish summer.

On hot days, can we enjoy not having the heating on, wearing fewer layers, and the touch of the sun? On the too-hot days, perhaps we can celebrate clouds and breezes. On the cooler days, do we get a better sleep?

Rain may ruin some plans but will bring growth to plants and all those who look after them.

Maybe we can channel our inner child and enjoy splashing in puddles and squelching in mud.

We are lucky that most of our communities in Moray have flowers in public spaces, which can surprise us with colour and play host to the satisfying buzz and fuzz of bees.

Getting outside or opening a window can allow us to enjoy the musical spectacular of birdsong or eavesdrop on the chat of sparrows.

And in any weather and all the unpredictable events of life, we can surprise each other with simple acts of love.

A spur of the moment phone call can brighten a day. A visit or a wee note can bring smiles and break isolation.

Asking how someone is doing and really listening to the answer can make a huge difference.

It is midsummer in Moray. Who knows what is ahead, in weather, the world or in any of our lives?

Through all the unpredictability, we can accept things we cannot change, change the things we can and seek deeper wisdom to discern between those.

Alongside all of that we can notice moments of joy in and around us - and we can all surprise others with joy too.

  • Jenny Adams is the Minister of Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Church of Scotland. Read her column here every fortnight.

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