Looking out the window today I thought what a comfort rain can be. There is an ease in rain, it is after all what we Northwesterners experience as our ‘default’, the weather that always comes back to us after periods of snow, hot sun, or dry spells. Like most folks, rain impacts me in different ways at different times. I remember, when going to school in Eugene, hearing on the radio one November that it had rained every day for a month. Not just drizzle, significant, measurable rain for thirty days. I was impressed, though I have no doubt since lived through many similar months.
Fully aware what lack of sun can do to ones mood, I have had my share of ‘cabin fever’ and winter blues. Yet there is a psychological relief when it rains after a dry spell, not just in the summer, but winter too. Maybe not the dramatic relief felt by those living in monsoon climates, whose dry spells are months long and to whom rain brings to live plants and the hope of survival. In the northwest, if it hasn’t rained for a spell, it brings a relief more like putting on a favorite sweatshirt and slippers after you haven’t worn them for a days, and sitting down with a cup of tea. It’s subtle. It’s comfort.
I met a man at the end of our driveway today. He was on a bicycle, pulling a bike trailer, the kind used for kids, a German Shepard by his side. He was looking at a map and I asked if he needed help. He wanted assurance he was headed toward the Hood Canal Bridge. He had been camping and bicycling in the Olympics for four days. I commented that it was too bad the weather turned wet this week after last week’s sunny, dry, albeit cold, days. Thinking he might be from elsewhere, I remarked this might not be the best time of year to experience the Olympics. He replied with enthusiasm “oh, I love it, I love the weather!” He had ridden in rain, snow, and ice (he didn’t care for the ice) camping along the way. He was celebrating his 47th birthday. He lived in Kingston. I asked about the dog needing breaks, “that’s what the trailer is for” he responded.
This man found the rain invigorating, inspiring, and enjoyed a solitude and Olympic experience few would relish!
Born in November, traditionally the wettest month on record, perhaps I was programmed in those early days of life to find comfort in the sounds and smells of rain. I love water and am grateful not to live in a dry climate.
To my thinking the real culprit of winter ‘blues’ is darkness and we have more than our share during our short winter days. I think rain without dark clouds would be lovely, and we would have many rainbows!
Note: This is my first blog in this new location on the internet. I hope those who have been following my musings and ruminations have found this new site, which I think will be my itertnet home for some time! Welcome!