Monday, August 29, 2005

Welcome back my friend The Rain

We were at Peninsula Park yesterday enjoying a late summer afternoon. Weeks and weeks of Portland summer sunshine slowly went away and clouds filled the sky. Not menacing clouds. Just clouds. But I knew what they meant. As we left I put my nose to the air and said “Rain’s coming”. AdRi looked at me, “Oh yeah?” I thought that was funny: AdRi, the native Oregonian couldn’t smell it. I did though. Later she said it must be the farmer in me that can smell the weather. I think about my dad and his consistent measuring of our suburban Southern California rainfall. “Holy smokes! It rained 1/2 an inch last night!” He probably learned that from his father on the farm in Kansas. Weather runs lives and livelihoods: to know it, to study it, to predict it can be the difference between a successful year or failure.

This morning. I stepped outside and the smell of rain had returned. When was the last time I had smelled it? Weeks? Months? I love that smell and felt relieved. As much as I love the summer, I love our first rain. It cleanses. Leaves, roads, cars, sidewalks. It makes me slow down—first rains are notorious to cause pile ups on Portland streets. For a brief moment I wonder where my umbrella is, and then I remember I haven’t used one in years. I’m approaching 15 years of living in Oregon. I now welcome the rain instead of hide from it underneath umbrellas. I can smell it coming. And while I still crave a dark tan and the heat from sun that for a brief moment takes my breath away, I travel to get those moments.

Welcome back rain. And remember those words. Late August I welcome you. Come February I’ll be cursing you again. Such is the life of a transplant to Oregon.

Update: Saw this one coming: there's an accident on the Morrison Bridge from 2 cars slipping on the freshly rained upon metal grating. I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier than 9:45 am this morning.


Rozanne said...

I saw it brewing up from the top of Mt. Hood yesterday (OK not quite the *top*). Amazing how the clouds displaced the incredible blue sky.

I welcome the coolness and the rain, but part of me wishes it could have waited til after Labor Day.

LeLo said...

That reminds me: Labor Day is this coming weekend. Ladies, wear your white shoes this week because come next week, you know the rules!

Kathryn said...

I saw the clouds as I was coming in through the Columbia Basin and Columbia Gorge yesterday early evening. I gave my brother the heads up about the first rains of the year and how slick everything is. I also gave him a quick turorial of all of the bridges as we came into town, (I think I may have forgotten one...) I was happy to return to my "home" to find the rain. It welcomed me!!!

Anonymous said...

I had an epiphany a few years back, Halloween 1991 I believe, though it could've been earlier. Me: in Old Town, hatless & coatless (didn't want to wreck my fairy-princess-who-just-slit-her-wrists costume). It began to pour rain. The epiphany came when I realized no one was running from the rain, no one within my sight even had an umbrella. We were all just walking normally. Because rain, well, up here in the green Pacific NW, it's normal. Besides, I always lose every umbrella I ever touch.

Rigo said...

I will take rain over snow anytime.

Joseph said...

It's raining and I love it. I was at the nursery and did like you. Funny how all of at the nursery all stopped for only a moment, but we all put our faces up to the breeze and looked at each other and smiled. We knew.

I love September.

Joseph said...

Keep watch for those Hybird Tulips...they are the first to fly out of the stores.

Anonymous said...

MMM the smell of the warm summer rain returning to the dirty pavement. Yes.
One thing I am NOT looking forward to later this week is the remnants of Katrina paasing through.