Every Day Rain

December 18, 2012

A foggy, rainy December morning at Green Lake

A foggy, rainy December morning at Green Lake

Weather Report
by David Budbill, from We’ve Still Got Feet

The weather is horrible here on Judevine Mountain.
It’s dark and cold all winter.  Every day rain and snow

beat on your head.  And the sun never shines.  Then
it’s spring and more rain and ice and mud, too.  And

after that, the blackflies eat you alive and then the
deerflies and then the mosquitoes and then it’s fall

before you ever noticed it was summer.  Then there
might be a couple of weeks of decent weather and

then it starts to rain and snow again.  It’s just awful
living here.  I don’t think you’d like it here at all.

You better go find your own miserable place to live.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a farmer’s daughter, or if it’s because I was raised in Minnesota, but talking about the weather is a normal part of my day.  (Here’s a video clip about “How to Talk Minnesotan” on YouTube.)  We are in the darkest days of the year, so it can be  a challenge to find something positive to say.   Winter in Seattle is almost invariably rainy and gray, cold, but not freezing (most of the time).  It’s true that if you waited for good weather to do some planned task, you’d never get anything done.

And if not the weather, it’s something else.  This is life.

“There are seven or eight categories of phenomena in the world that are worthy of talking about, and one of them is the weather.”
— Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek

Hello Darkness

December 28, 2010

Blue light cast by window in the St. Ignatius Chapel, Seattle U

This week workers are changing the light fixtures in my branch library because the old fixtures, while visually interesting, did not cast much light in the cavernous space.  Yesterday they changed out one chandelier, and when we flipped the switch to turn the new one on, the increase in light was tremendous.  I felt an immediate lift to my spirits.

I don’t think I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, but one of the challenges of winter is accepting very short days.  I’d like to think that the darkness is a friend, allowing my mind and spirit to incubate seeds for new growth, but in reality I don’t recall ever experiencing a big flowering of my soul in springtime.  Oh, well.  It’s a victory if I just accept, rather than struggle against, this dark time of year.

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced out by sadness.”
     — Carl Jung

“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing cames to birth, and without light, nothing flowers.”
     — May Sarton

Winter Solstice

December 21, 2009

Moon reflected on Green Lake's surface

“Seattle is the northernmost latitude of any major U.S. city outside Alaska, giving us the Lower 48’s longest summer days.  Of course, we also have the shortest winter days — a 7-1/2 hour difference in daylight between the seasons.”
     — U.S. Naval Obervatory

I welcome the winter solstice, knowing that from here forward, the days will be getting longer.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
     — Anne Bradstreet, Meditations Divine and Moral

A Place in the Sun

December 20, 2009

Jellybean finding a spot on a sunny windowsill

Cats really know how to seek and find sunshine.  I could take a lesson from Jellybean. 

But one of the gifts of winter is the darkness, and I need to remind myself to not only accept, but celebrate, this darker time. 

“. . . for despite the frequent foulness of the weather and the hardship of those who have to work outside, there is something of the Winter that is primal, mysterious and utterly irreplaceable, something both bleak and profoundly beautiful, something essential to this myth of ourselves, to the story of our humanity, as if we somehow need the darkness of the winter months to replenish our inner spirits as much as we need the light, energy and warmth of summer.”
     — Sting, If on a Winter’s Night. . . liner notes