CS Lewis reveled in what he called the quiddity of weather, the essence of what was happening on a particular day. I have thought of this often, and mentioned it in conversation many times. You wouldn't know that, because I haven't said that here. I love wind, and thunderstorms, and early on caught the spirit of what he was saying and have tried to emulate it. When there is blizzard, I have made an effort to appreciate the blizzardness of it. When there has been downpour enough to pull off the road because one cannot see, even with the wipers on double, I have striven to simply enjoy it.
I have seldom managed this for biting cold, though when my blood is thickened and zero degrees in January is not a barrier to a five-mile walk, I have been able to appreciate that temperature if it is still. Nor have I done well with humid temps above 90. I try, because I think Lewis is essentially right in this. Though, over the last forty years I have borne in mind that Lewis's England and Northern Ireland did not have much of those extremes. I did wonder cynically whether he would be quite so thrilled with 20 below. But still, we should appreciate things for what they are as much as we can, and seek their essence.
It was only about a month ago that I pursued that thought of Lewis's somewhat narrow range of weather that he was so excited about. They do have wind, yes, and sometimes those are stiffish, as Bertie Wooster might say*. But no hurricanes or tornadoes. And when I looked it up, I found that it was not somewhat limited, but very limited. The temperature range every year (in Fahrenheit, the only sensible measure for describing human experience) is 25-80 degrees in Oxford. That means only a few days each year hit those extremes. In Belfast, where he grew up, it is even less, 30-75 degrees. Coming from New Hampshire, where we get a few days at 100 and a few days at 20 below every year (and at 67 years old I have seen worse than that), we have twice the range. That is, at the cold he considers bracing and fascinating we've got another 45 degrees worse, and the oppressive heat that complained about in the 1930s as drying up his pond at the Kilns in August is still 20 degrees short of New Hampshire average high temp.
So I am no longer impressed by his quiddity. I still think it is the right idea and we should all try to revel in the weather God sends us. But he has no authority to speak on this matter.