Monday, November 4, 2019

Keeps Falling On My Head

I don't know that I always loved rain...  There is a lot of my childhood that has gone hiding and I find that there are certain details I don't often have.  I DO remember that while lightning was boomy and scary for its awesomeness, I don't know that I had a fear of it in general.  New Mexico is known for lightning, and south New Mexico is known for having some of the highest occurences of ground strikes.  So thunderstorms are common and nothing particularly unusual there.  In fact, thunder was often the quick harbinger of a big dump of rain.  One loud crack, and the sky would open up.  We'd get rain heavy enough to drop 2 inches inside of half an hour.  Drops spreading on the ground the size of tennis balls.  Unlike the PNW, standing in that kind of rain would soak you to the skin in seconds.  Very different experience.

I remember a time when I was in the basement watching TV during a storm, and heard the lightning strike on the ladder of the neighbor to the back.  It was propped against the house.  I don't know if YOU learned it, but I learned that you could count seconds between the flash and the thunder burst to get a rough idea of how far away the stike was.  There is something a little unnerving having the flash and the boom happen at exactly the same time.  Nobody was hurt.  Nothing damaged.  Just the sky needing a little release and taking advantage of a likely but unintended path.

As weather goes, rain was not something we saw a lot in Albuquerque.  We'd have what we call monsoon season in the spring, but generally the weather was hot and dry, so rain was a bit of a treat.  I still have memories of the petrichor. 

I do know that when I decided to leave New Mexico, I knew the PNW was the plan, and for all the rumors of rain and gloomy weather, I looked forward to it.  Part of the appeal became obvious long before we reached Seattle on the road trip up where everything started turning green the further away from NM we got.  I remember being amazed at the trees and the undergrowth.. and the lack of bare dirt. 

Bare dirt doesn't last long here.  I know this first hand this year having cleared parts of our flower bed, and watching anything and everything attempt to take root there.  In New Mexico, even dandelions struggle on unkempt soil, but here, it is easy to get the ground covered in all sorts of stuff.

As I appreciated the green, I appreciated the rain that fed the ecosystem.  And rain and clouds also mean cooler weather, which is something I've always cherished.  I'll take damp and cold over hot and sticky any day of the week.  So while I don't remember if I've always loved rain, I know definitively that I've always loved the rain and overcast weather in Seattle.  I realized as I got settled in that I have summer Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The heat and the bright sun really mess with me.  But the cool overcast days and the rain and the way the filtered light brings out the blues and greens I find to be delightful and happy-making.

So I like rain. :-) 

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