If you live in Seattle, there’s a pretty good chance you’re missing most of Mother Nature’s wonders. Take, for instance, the remarkable line up of five planets – the first time in ten years. Listen to interviews with astronomers and hear how giddy they are talking about it. They can’t wait to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get the best view possible. They’ll marvel at the stellar spectacle in the heavens while in Seattle, it will rain.
Lunar eclipse? Rain.
When the Northern Lights could be seen as far south as Oklahoma, it rained here.
Right now as Tian Tian the panda plays in the snow with utter delight in Washington, D.C., it’s an outright downpour of rain outside. No snow angels are made from rain. No snowmen are formed by drizzle. There are no rosy-cheeked children begging their parents to go outside and play in the rain. We aren’t binge watching TV or hoarding milk and eggs. We’re having typical Seattle weather.
Forty days and forty nights of rain and gray, that’s what winter is like here.
We make jokes about it. How we’re all going to get in our arks, grab our two cats, our two dogs, and the two raccoons who live near the garbage cans and float away.
When it comes to rain, there are two types of people. There are the ones who don’t even notice it, think it’s quaint, rejoice in the opportunities it gives them to read books, listen to classical music, and eat soup.
Then there’s the rest of us.
We’re the ones looking up flights to Hawaii, fist punching the sky, and waiting for August to come so it’ll dry up a bit.
I like how the Nordic citizens say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” They have obviously never worn their wool sweaters with the snowflakes and reindeer in Seattle. The reindeer would drown and those snowflakes would turn into a puddle.
In Seattle, there are no sounds of snow tires, no tick tick tick as the cars go by. Instead, there’s the perpetual sound of swish and squish. Pedestrians don’t even get mad when they’re splashed with a tidal wave of standing water on the roads. It can’t be helped.
We Seattlites remain in our rainy city, oblivious to stars, snow days, and solar flares. So accustomed have we grown to the constant drizzle, the constant wet that even our cats still ask to go outside because what other choice do they have? Pigeons rest on wires, crows caw on treetops. And those other types of Seattlites are out there walking without umbrellas – slowly, like I imagine Parisians sauntering along the Seine.
So while the rest of the world gets up awfully early to go look at planetary alignments, or camp out together to wait out a blizzard, we’re here in Seattle. Say hi to the stars for us. When you can, play in the snow for us. We’ll send rain.