In case you were wondering, it really does rain in Seattle as much as everyone always says it does. In the wintertime, Michigan’s snow is The Emerald City’s slow drizzle: constant, pervasive, and, at times, oppressive.
In the height of winter when the days are at their shortest and darkest, the rain is all there is. I go to sleep each night to the pitter-patter against the gutter. In a Pavlovian twist, I start to feel unable to imagine bedtime without the sound; it is probably cueing sleep more than fatigue at this point.
We wake up to the grey rain, we look outside at lunchtime to the grey and rain, we drive home in the grey and the rain, we go to bed to the gutter pitter-pattering in the darkness, and then we do it all again the next day.
Something happens in Seattle though, I’ve noticed.
After a week or two of unrelenting gloom and precipitation, the city starts to lose it. It’s palpable, I’m telling you. People are on edge. We’re all nearing our wits end, ready to move to Miami, or go to sleep for a hundred years, or some solution in between the two.
And then–it never fails–just before the weather crosses over into truly intolerable, the sun comes out. From out of nowhere, it seems, the murk and clouds dissipate, the rain stops, and the sky becomes a backdrop of unsullied blue.
People go outside. They open the windows, and take walks, and take their children to the parks.
We know well enough how fleeting the sunshine is this time of year. We know that it probably won’t hold until tomorrow.
And when tomorrow arrives, bringing with it more rain, as it’s sure to do, our spirits will have been buoyed enough to make it through another stint of gloom.
On through ’til summer it’ll go, when soggy-Seattle reaps its reward.
But of course it isn’t just Seattle. In every city across the globe, people are quietly doing their best to rise above the conditions that plague them, shoring up the available light and warmth as a means of survival, and as a tool for persistence.
You, too, are due for a break in the clouds any day now.
There are clues everywhere that your spring is on its way.