"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Busting Out All Over

Today was the fourth in a string of sunny days. The longest string of sunshine we have enjoyed around here since last September. The mercury has not yet broken 70 degrees - the longest such stretch in many years, I read in the paper, a full 300 days - but for the past four days, it has been somewhere near or slightly above 60, with clear blue skies. The mud has receded to a few stubborn puddles. The grass is growing almost visibly. And I have emerged from a serious funk.

Having been born and bred here, I like to think that I pay slight attention to the weather. It is sort of a mark of pride, for the native Seattleite, to never ever carry an umbrella; to walk head high through the drizzle; and to be just ever so gently condescending of those poor souls who haven't the gumption to abide the endless grey skies and who succumb to sissy weaknesses like seasonal affective disorder. They are not to be scorned, but pitied.

Of course, it's all a pathetic front. Born and bred is as may be, but we are just as susceptible as the rest of the rabble to SAD and cabin fever. We just work harder to hide it behind closed doors, and subsequently take it out even more on our spouses and children and pets. Behind the brave facade of the chipper outdoorsman/woman striding confidently down the street through the driving rain is a whining whimperer huddled next to a woodstove or a radiator, snapping pulishly at his or her family to bring them some hot chocolate, goddammit. Housewives like myself spend fully seven months of the year screeching at their family to take their ever-loving shoes off before they track mud all over the carpet. Those of us who live on farms endure seven months of damp, of never being clean, of stinky wrinkled white feet, of deep misanthropic resentment.

Then, just about now, the sun comes out. Suddenly, the trees are in full leaf, having seemingly skipped over all the stages from bare branches. There is endless birdsong, flowers of all descriptions, spring mushrooms, flowing milk, early crops bursting out the garden, an amazing over-abundance of eggs. The farmer's markets open, and there is fresh asparagus, bright red radishes, spinach galore. Last night at my sister's house we made pizza with fresh goat cheese and arugula from the farm. Our winter-starved bodies hunger for the fresh greens and the vivid, astringent tastes of spring. Our pallid skins begin to soak up the sun and manufacture some sorely needed vitamin D.

I have begun to slough off the torpid skin of winter. I feel like a turtle emerging from damp frigid sand, like a small animal shaking off the dull metabolism of hibernation. Soon enough, perhaps, I will be complaining about the heat of summer and about drought; but for now, I am content to revel in green spring. Today I was able to lay down in the tall fresh grass and look up at the blue sky through a frame of bright green leaves, and I was very very happy.


Gail V said...

Love your writing, Aimee. I drop by frequently.DH and I have declared we might retire in WA-- I spent a winter there, once, I must be ready, right? But, maybe renting a year is a good idea.

Aimee said...

Hi gail nice to hear from you! Not all of Washington is as rainy as it is here. Some of it is worse ;)
No seriously I live in one of the wettest parts of the state. Winters are bad, and spring sometimes starts in June, but the summers are gorgeous and green and almost never too hot.

WeekendFarmer said...

You should write a book : )

Always wanted to be somewhere on the North West coast...but I won't survive there. Jersey is no FL either...but we have had 70s already for a few days now.

Happy 70s!

Rowan said...

Oh, mom. I LOVE the rain. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. You should have noticed I still come home soaked sometimes because I took off my coat and jumped in puddles.