Well, here we are, having recently passed some big record for consecutive days of “measureable rainfall” in the good ole Pacific Northwest. Whatever “measureable rainfall” technically means, I’ll tell you, to me it means muddy shoes, a chill you can feel right through your coat, and clouds so watery and gray that you can feel the rain coming well before it hits. The air is so damp it makes haloes around porch lights and neon signs at night, and you can feel the moisture beading up on your cheekbones. Bus windows turn silver with condensation. Small parking lots fill with standing water; some lawns resemble swamps. Citizens unaccustomed to (or sick of) the impermeable gray consider wintering elsewhere.
Now, I like the rain, I really do. It’s pretty, and I love gray, overcast skies, but I’ve had about enough of the rain so like mist that it doesn’t feel like the rain falls, but like the rain stands still, and you walk through it.
So, imagine how pleased I was this morning to notice the sun shining in through the blinds, all clear and frosty and winter-like, but there: the clouds broken, the pavement given a split second to dry if it likes (it doesn’t), a light so fierce and invigorating that there’s nothing for it but to take a long walk, no matter that the wind is icy, my fingers frozen, my nose running. Days like this always inspire me to break out into song, but I don’t, and good thing, because the song that invariably comes to mind is “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”