Spring is here! In Olympia we have blooms and blossoms, verdant greens and dreary grays. One moment we have icy rain and near freezing temperatures, the next the sun is blazing and things feel (almost) warm. On the cold mornings when we walk to preschool, my 4.5 yr old son insists it’s still winter. No, I say, look at the daffodils, violets, and pink blossoms on a tree I don’t know the name of yet. Spring is just getting started!
People love to complain, especially about the weather. There is not one place I’ve lived where people haven’t done so. It happened less frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area, but if the sun didn’t shine (and it did most days) people would moan – even though that land needs its rain! Here in the Pacific Northwest people moan about the wet and grey. Yes, it’s grey a lot, but it doesn’t rain that much. There are 4 months stretches without it. Don’t believe the rain hype! I find the weather here near idyllic: four seasons, none too harsh. In fact, I would be happy with a little more snow (or any snow) in the winter.
Of course, my standards are skewed. Growing up in SE Alaska I experienced two seasons. Two long, wet, seasons. It rains more there than it doesn’t. Spring is maybe two weeks at the end of May. It’s a difficult place to live. One needs a lot of gear: cold weather gear, wet weather gear, and then just plain gear for the days you want to go hiking and it’s not cold or wet. Getting places can require a bit more planning: do you need a second outfit or set of shoes if the first get too wet or muddy?
Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating by living in Washington state. It’s just so much easier than Alaska. I only need two sets of clothes, neither extreme, and no real heavy weather gear. A light rain coat, a warm winter coat…. I don’t even own a hat. The weather here is easy. The spring rains have obvious payoffs with bright and colorful blooms.
I feel for my friends in various parts of North America. Spring is here! Yet, many of my friends are still shoveling snow or preparing for fresh snow to fall. That’s hard. On top of that frustration the weather is shifting in many places. Global warming is changing the weather patterns we’ve been used to for generations. Weather is getting more extreme, more unpredictable. This can be hard. I’m grateful I don’t live in places where fire, flood, drought, or hurricanes are possibilities.
Still, I love weather. I love when we have two days of torrential downpours, surprise snowstorms, hail on what seemed to be a sunny day, or a power outage on a windy, stormy night. It forces me to interact with the elements and my community in new ways. It jolts me out of my routine. It reminds me that life isn’t always easy. It reminds me to be grateful for the technologies that keep me warm, dry, entertained, connected, and secure. The changing weather patterns through out the year help me sync to the seasons. I like experiencing the different ways the land smells at different times of the year.
I like weather. You won’t hear me complaining.*
*Ok, not too much anyway. When we get two weeks of 90 degree weather in a house without air conditioning, I’ll admit I start to struggle.