Under the Weather

It’s raining.
I’m not feeling like myself.
And I wondered: are these facts related?

I heard myself say: I’m feeling under the weather.
Not ill, just unwell. Grey, like the sky.

A quick google search revealed that “under the weather” is a nautical term. A sailor who felt ill was sent below deck to get out of – quite literally “under” – the weather.

When my sons were babies, they tended to extra fussiness on days when the barometric pressure dropped before a storm. A doctor recently told my son that he develops migraine headaches before a storm hits. It doesn’t always happen, but the knee on which I had meniscus surgery pulses with a dull ache before a storm; the discomfort woke me this morning.

It’s not just an old wives’ tale.

Intrigued, I kept digging and discovered that our bodies may be more attuned to weather than we recognize. Beyond migraines and joint pain, cold weather can cause changes to blood pressure and even blood sugar. Apparently, many diabetics report having trouble regulating their blood sugar when it’s cold. The reason: blood thickens in cold weather.

I don’t live on a ship, and our house is comfortably heated. Again, quite literally, most of us have insulated ourselves against the elements. I don’t have to go outside in the rain unless I choose to. Even still, our bodies react to the weather. Nature calls to nature, and nature responds.

Connections like these fascinate me.

I love the rain. Living in drought-prone California I recognize how much we need the rain. The dreadful fires over the last few years have made tragically obvious the messy realities of climate change. “Fire season” shouldn’t be a thing, but it is. The ways we have used and abused the earth have terrifying consequences. Nature abused nature, and nature shouts her pain.

Maybe I should go out in the rain. Maybe I should find ways to honor and celebrate my body’s connectedness to the elements. Maybe some time spent puddle jumping will improve my mood. Maybe being in the weather will help me feel less under the weather. I think I’ll give it a try.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Cover Image by 준원 서 from Pixabay

3 thoughts on “Under the Weather

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