Right Opinion

In Our Time

Joe Bastardi · Nov. 22, 2012

I have been listening to a Bob Seger song called “In Your Time” a lot since the election and Hurricane Sandy, as the misery that storm and the nor-easter a week later caused is certainly not lost on me. As I heard it, he wrote the song for his son back in the 90s and it became a favorite of mine, a modern version of one of my favorite passages in scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:9 – “There is nothing new under the sun” – and one of the great references to the extremes of weather when dealing with the storms of life.

Check out these lyrics:

Towering waves
Will crash across your southern capes
Massive storms
Will reach your eastern shores
Fields of green
Will tumble through your summer days
By design
In your time

I sometimes wonder if his inspiration was the great Superstorm of March of 1993 on the East Coast, a storm that had the record lowest pressures in New Jersey, until Sandy came along.

I would strongly advise you to check out the whole song, for it is a wonderful piece of work!

In his message, Mr. Seger appears to be using known extremes in weather to teach his son about the storms of life. But after the storms and in quick contrast he paints a wonderful image of a pleasant summer day. Of course he is trying to say that storms and tranquil days are a natural thread in life. Which is my argument on the weather and climate: What you see is a natural thread of life. If you know about these extremes, then you better understand the natural course of events, and life. So he is talking about known events, and then projecting those past known events to give his son wisdom about the future. He is not saying, “Ignore everything that came before, because it has no value, and one should just swing with the latest breeze!”

Quite the contrary, this song says what many of us are saying all the time. That the natural swings back and forth on this planet are a fact of life. That man is not the controlling factor, but must adapt to these factors, and be strong and wise in doing so.

I don’t know Mr. Seger’s politics, but it is clear there is a light in him worth looking at and a message worth listening to. I love his music and he has songs with numerous references to nature and weather in them. There is none greater than this. I can pay it no greater compliment than saying it’s as close a musical description of life I have ever heard.

He tells his son he will have to stand up as an individual, be wise in his choices, yet be compassionate too.

Feel the wind
And set yourself the bolder course
Keep your heart
As open as a shrine
You’ll sail the perfect line

And then he wraps it up with this:

And after all
The dead ends and the lessons learned
After all
The stars have turned to stone
There’ll be peace
Across the great unbroken void
All benign
In your time
You’ll be fine
In your time

The dreams of an idealist, combined with the rational thought of a realist. It’s what is needed now, in OUR time, not only about fights like mine with Anthropogenic Global Warming, but much more.

And if we can do that,
We’ll be fine,
In our time.

Happy Thanksgiving, and count your blessings, for they are as big a part of life as the trials we must all endure!

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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