It is raining. Again. You might think, Of course it is, you live in the Pacific Northwest, where it’s famous for rain. You would be right of course, and I expect the rain. But in my working life, I am dependent on the weather and so I have a categorical memory of it going back a couple decades…and we haven’t had a winter like this since 1996. Day in, day out, by inches at a time. And there is one other thing: where I live now.
Annually, it rains about 15% more in Sammamish than Seattle; and on a daily basis it averages about 4 degrees colder–and I am not used to that. I am a commuter now, too, so since September I have been leaving early and arriving home at dinner time. I see my home and my land in the dark.
Since Autumn we have had about five days where the sun has shone on my patch of forest, and I have been at home for oh, maybe two of those. I miss the light. I feel like I am living in Finland, only with fewer vowels.
A couple weeks ago, I was standing in mud up to the ankles of my insulated Vasque hikers when the rain broke for a moment. A shaft of sunlight filtered through the evergreens and vine maple onto the salal and swordferns below. It was both melancholic and exquisite, like a heartbroken unicorn, and it disappeared just as quickly. The Northwest had almost twice as much rain as normal for March, and about half again as much in Sammamish, where dark and wet go to party. Enough is enough. I am Finnish-ed with it.