Essays · Photos

Bring On The Rain

Rain, rain, go away. At least, that’s what most people here in the Northwest are saying right now. And… I get that. It’s been raining a lot lately. In the last month, we’ve had a veritable deluge. The rivers are all rising and the hillsides are all sliding down to meet them. We’re soggy, and people don’t like it. They are tired of it. And then there’s me….

Ok, I know… it’s gray. All day. Every day. A constant sameness of soggy gray color. So much so we forget that there are actually green trees around, and grass. We can see it. The green is there, but somehow, mixed with the rain and the gray and the occasional fog, we go a bit numb to it. Numb to our environment. And then… well, then we get sad. Or, maybe I should capitalize that… as in… SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Actually, I don’t know if it’s Affective or Affected. Either way, it bugs us. We feel depressed, sluggish, unmotivated to get off the couch and out to do something, anything. We huddle in our respective homes, snuggled and trying to keep warm on the couch, watching TV… or reading.

It’s at this juncture I realize I’m not made of the usual stuff. Or at least, I’m not made of the stuff that says all this rain is bad. I realize… I’m an Oregon girl, through and through. I love the rain. I love the change in seasons. I don’t get SAD. What’s more, I actually enjoy it. My feet must, as they say, be webbed.

We are lucky, those of us who live here. We are. We get to see changes in the weather, changes in our flora and fauna. We get to enjoy all the variety of what Mother Nature can throw at us, and to top it off; we get to live in a beautiful, amazing, stupendous rain forest. I like these rainy winter months. I like having to don the rain jacket and big boots. I like change. I like the fact that spring in Oregon is different from summer, which in turn is different from the fall and yes, the winter… and the rain. And I love all the rain brings to us. The beauty here is a direct result of it. So… when it rains, day after day after dripping day, I think to myself… look around. See what’s beyond the rain. See what lies under the puddle. We live in a gorgeous place. So what if we have to endure buckets of liquid sunshine falling and falling. The end result of all of it is this place.

It also provides us with something else, something hard to put a finger on, but there nonetheless. The winter, with all it’s gray, all it’s rain, brings on a tendency to hibernate. If seasons had sounds, winter, to me, would be quiet. It blankets our lives, stills us for a moment, it can calm and slow us down. If we use it, let it work it’s magic, we can fold into the center of ourselves and let it begin to infuse us with much needed recuperation and healing. It can wash our lives clean, so to speak. Leaving us fresh and new for the coming spring and the way, inevitably at that time, our lives seem to speed up.

So, though I too rush from the door to the car to the office during a downpour. Though I too look outside and at times feel an overwhelming sense of sleepiness and grogginess, I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love it here. And to love it here, a person has to also love the rain. It’s an integral part of who we are, as North westerners. It’s part of what defines us. And I, for one, don’t want the rain rain to go away… at least, not until the spring, when the weather really changes… and the rain, finally… turns warm.

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