In which I offer gratitude for the sunshine

It happened briefly yesterday as I was walking along Lake Union from a meeting at U-Dub. And again, crisply, this morning on my drive to work. The sun! It came out! And there was glimpses of blue sky!

It did my heart so much good.

Boats sunning on Lake Union

I was fully aware of what I signed up for when I put down Seattle at the top of my Match list. And as if I was somehow the last person on Earth who hadn’t heard this area is a little on the wetter side, EVERY SINGLE PERSON whom I told we were moving out here responded with some variation of “Oh I hope you like rain!”. So yes, I had mentally prepared  for months and knew this was going to be a little rough coming from sunny Carolina, but it doesn’t make it any easier some days.

The weather here reminds me of a short story by Ray Bradbury; a little one he published right before his better known Fahrenheit. It’s a quick read and you can find the full text here. Poetically called “All Summer in a Day” it’s about school children who live on a rain soaked Venus and only see the sun once every seven years. PBS made a video that while a little 1970’s chic, has a happier ending than the real story  (you can find it on YouTube). The story itself is a little sad, but like a great piece of science fiction work it also raises some broader questions – such as, is it better to have never seen or know the sun and not know the pleasure of it on your skin so you don’t know what to pine for? Or is it better to have felt it’s kiss and remember its warmth and joy to get you through the next seven years of rain?

Sunrise on my way to work
Rays breaking over the Cascade mountains across Lake Washington

I think it would be better to know and love the sun like the story’s protagonist Margot and not like the other children who rely solely on sunlamps, no matter how sad you are when it’s gone. Experiencing true beauty and warmth, even if all you have is a memory of it is preferable to substituting a lie. Plus, that William kid is a jerk.

Living here does make me appreciate every second of sunlight that I can gather though. I hope I never lose the feeling of gratitude for it that I have begun to cultivate living underneath these clouds.

{Follow up: All signs point to Referendum 74 passing – yay!}

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