Facing west

Hit and Miss #352

In the titular story from Watch With Me, there’s a scene in which Tol Proudfoot and his band of neighbourhood characters see a coming storm: still leaves in the forest, heavy air, and a dark cloud on the horizon, moving fast toward them.

Being in Kentucky, they were presumably looking south or southwest to see this sign of rain to come. Sitting on the front porch, I realized I’ve almost always lived somewhere with a reasonably clear westward view. Being in Ottawa, this gives me a decent window on the weather to come, as prevailing winds carry most of our weather from the west (and, when the winds come instead from the east, you can almost guarantee it’ll be a mess).

Facing west, then, warns of what’s coming. Facing east, we see what’s gone, and how it’s changing—how it’s affecting others, but not how it’ll affect you.

There’s a comfort to facing west: you can see what’s coming and prepare for it. But I wonder if it doesn’t bring its own anxieties: a preoccupation with looking and predicting, instead of being and reflecting.

All the best for the week ahead!