Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Wetness!!

Its only been about 8 months since I moved here but I already feel like i have 15 different names for the northwest rain. The glass-half-full side of me sees this wet spring as a pathway to a late summer, but who knows?

I can't make a blanket statement and say I am tired of the rain. Some days in Portland are just gray. Gray as far as the eye can see. And that low wet gray can just feel oppressive, especially when the rain sprinkles its way in the whole time. It just makes it hard to want to go outside.

Hans Olaf Wilson, "portland rain"

Then there are days like today, when periods of absolute downpour give way to brilliant sun-shows over the west hills, and the clouds feel as if they are giving off the same brilliant alpenglow I dream about when I think about the Chugach in Alaska, their golden color lights up the entire Willamette Valley. Mt. Hood pokes its way through and then a dark cloud rolls in and it starts to pour again as if the sun had never been here at all.

Some days the air just feels like fog. The mist thickens as you breathe and wraps around you. It doesn't feel like its raining until you realize that after 10 minutes you are soaking wet.

I've learned a new term in my time here, everyone from Portland and the PNW knows what a sunbreak is. The wetness that moves through the northwest can dump hour after hour and then all the sudden, the sun gleams through the clouds, and its warm. People poke their heads out of their houses like rodents poking out of the ground. The sun makes even the most reserved person want to get outside and dance, it is a gift after days of rain, it can dry the pavement in minutes. But usually the rain comes again.

Some of the rain feels like Central American rain, warm and humid--steamy like the rain forests in Panama. Some is bone-chilling, its colder than snow. It makes the body melt into itself.

The same rain can be stunningly beautiful and depressingly glum.

Tom Robbins says:

(the northwest) is the world headquarters of drizzle, and in autumn it leaves a damp gray rash on everything, as though the city were a baby that had been left to long in a wet diaper and then rolled in a newspaper.

Got Muddy Waters on in the background (perfect for the rain)


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