“I’m ready to forgive Seattle,” said our friend Bethany yesterday as we sat at the Old Spaghetti Factory awaiting our salads. She and her husband Jeremy and their kids and we and ours sat at a big dark wooden table looking out the large, wavy-glassed warehouse windowpanes to the waterfront, where gambolled the late afternoon light of a truly warm and sunny afternoon.
“One sunny day and everyone goes soft,” was my retort. I don’t think it’s a great idea to cast off well-simmered resentments against the weather gods just because the sun finally shows up in June late for tea. The wind had been up earlier in the day while I was out at lunchtime taking pictures of old buildings, and I had felt a little bite in it. As a Seattle resident (and native) who has endured yet another dare-I-say crappy spring, I didn’t want to have to feel grateful for the small dividend of a couple hours with my jacket off.
But I had to admit, as we took a quick after-dinner walk across the street into the Seattle Art Museum’s park and meandered through the native plants grove and on overtop of the train tracks to the waterfront, that it was suddenly hard to remember what the chill felt like. We northwesterners have this shutoff valve in our memories that is activated by sunlight and has the effect of preventing us from remembering all the sodden weather as soon as warmer temperatures arrive. It makes a little clicking sound, too, and you can actually hear it in other people’s heads as you walk around, so that you can tell the natives and long-time residents from those freshly asylumed from more sensible climes.
And this morning, just now, I went outside early in my socks — I don’t know, its just a habit that I put socks on when I get up because usually the floor is so damned cold around here — to water some plants that I had moved last weekend — just to save them, mind you, not because I’m actually attempting to garden or anything — and I thought, “good thing I’m giving these guys a drink now, because it’s going to be hot today and with the recent trauma to their roots they’ll still be in shock and need a lot of water until the shadows reach them at noon.”
And in saying that to myself, I actually did experience gratitude. As the water drops fanned out among the leaves of my accepting, non-judging little deciduous azaleas and Angela’s much-abused but never-grumbling Deutzia, I felt myself go soft. Yes, thought I. I too was ready to forgive.
I heard the clicking sound.
“What? Isn’t it always this nice here along the shores of Puget Sound?”