By James Hayman
As I’ve written previously in this blog, weather plays a key role in my second book, The Chill of Night, which centered around one of the most brutally cold winters any of the characters in the book had ever experienced. That’s the way it’s supposed to be here in Maine. At least that’s what I was told when I moved here. But not this year. At least not so far.
Back in my distant youth, I remember seeing Richard Burton walk out on a New York stage and sing in that glorious Welsh voice of his:
A law was made a distant moon ago here, July and August cannot be too hot. And there’s a legal limit to the snow here, in Camelot. The winter is forbidden till December. And exits March the second on the dot. By order, summer lingers through September. In Camelot.
It was one of the first Broadway shows I’d ever seen and I remember Burton and the song vividly.
The reason I mention this is that this Fall the weather laws of King Arthur’s Camelot seem to have taken hold on my island home of Peaks.
Here it is December 7th on an island off the coast of Maine and we still haven’t seen a hard frost (which the gardening guides tell us should have been expected by the end of October at the latest). The blizzard that blanketed much of the Northeast in October missed us completely. All we got was rain. Snow is predicted for tomorrow for the Northeast corridor but again along the coast it is all supposed to be rain. In fact, so far we’ve seen barely a single flake of snow. And yesterday, December 6th, I wandered around both the island and the city of Portland quite happily dressed in no more than jeans and a sweater as the temperatures edged toward sixty degrees.
Here on the island we all wonder if any of this delightful Fall weather can be a result of global warming. (Of course, deep down we all know, because all of the Republican candidates for President are telling us so, that global warming is a myth, a hoax, a scam or, at the very least, unproven science).
However, assuming, as I do, that the Republican candidates are wrong on this as on most other things and that man-made climate change is the real thing, and that it will be, in the long run, a disaster both for the planet and most of its human inhabitants. Still, this Fall has thus far been delightful. And for that I give thanks.
Yes, I know that winter and the winter snows will come. Of that, we can be certain. But I do hope that this year, as Burton once sang on stage, it will have the good sense to “exit March the second on the dot.” Naturally, as a Mainer, I’m not counting on it.
Still, in the words of Burton’s King Arthur, “Don’t let it be forgot that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”