The Chinese decipher meaning from chaos with simple tea leaves in porcelain cups; the ancient Chaldeans looked to the stars in the heavens for answers.
They say that the Roman soothsayers could divine the fate of men by studying the sacrificed entrails of innocent creatures. And in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the town’s folk and national media gather every year on February 2nd, Groundhog Day, to see if Phil, the local celebrity rodent, sees his own shadow, which is said to mean another six weeks of winter.
I don’t believe any of that for a minute.
Here in Unalaska, come autumn, we need look no further than the mountains to see our future. With a late, mid-morning sunrise with an unmistakable and familiar chill to the air, like yesterday, we notice it: the first snow. Just a dusting on the mountains and volcanoes, but a good thousand feet of it, looming all around and over us.
We all know what it means. The short days, the long nights, the coming snow…winter.
We don't need a weather man-or magic rituals-to know which way the wind blows. It blows hard, and it blows cold.