We just experienced back to back to back days of sunshine and warmth. Spring in the Pacific Northwest is predictably unpredictable. During the sunny dry days, we walked, we soaked it in, we had a picnic, we ate outside, we visited our beach property. Blue Eyes begged me every day to go for rides in his convertible. When I was feeling low, I suggested he text his “girlfriend” as I was sure she would take him up on his offer of a ride with the top down. I know this is mean… but I talked about sunshine being a trigger. It isn’t always, but sometimes it is. I worked my way through the sunny days of blah, but not without a little pain, and a little venom. I’m not proud, but I’m also not perfect. Blue Eyes takes it in stride. He knows the memories of what he has done will haunt me for a while… whatever a while is. Consequences.
And then, last night, the clouds rolled in, opened up, and the rain fell. It brought a big smile to my face. I am from Portland, Oregon after all. Rain is what helps make this place so beautiful. The windows were all open in our house as it had been quite warm in the afternoon. I breathed in that smell of freshness as the moisture hit the earth. I could almost hear the plants heave a little sigh of glorious relief. They desperately needed a drink. Last week we planted two new apple trees in our backyard. Those babies needed some liquid nourishment.
A friend who I rarely see, but who is quite active on Facebook had recently been to Australia for a photo shoot (she is a photographer) and passed through Portland (she used to live here, but moved to a drier, sunnier climate) on her way down to central California (where she is from) for a visit. She has been here in Portland for the past few days of glorious sunshine but then as soon as it started to rain, even though she was on her way out of town, she opted for this comment, “wouldn’t you know it, rain in Portland, again…” There were comments from other Portlanders (most likely transplants) chastising the rain and longing for more sunshine. I generally don’t do a lot of commenting on Facebook, but honestly, I took this opportunity to share my love for rain. I commented “we just planted two baby apple trees in the back, they were so thirsty, rain is a blessing.” You wouldn’t think it so, but water here is outrageously expensive. We live in a lush landscape. It’s not tropical here. Our summers are warm and dry. We desperately need snow in the mountains and rain in the valleys during this time of year, to sustain us through the next season.
The sunshine is now partially back with just a smattering of potential rain clouds up there. It is forecast to warm up again and the dry weather is expected to stay for a while. The weather service is even predicting 80+ for Thursday. That is a bit crazy for April. I will wilt in that heat. I’m not acclimated. 🙂 The rain did not dampen my spirit, it visited on me a serenity, a feeling of peace, of things being right in my world. The rain helped heal what the sunshine had broken, my sense of calm.
The Voice of the Rain – Poem by Walt Whitman
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and
yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
Summer Shower – Poem by Emily Dickinson
A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.
A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!
The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.
The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.