One Sunny Day in The Great Northwest

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by Jen Rouse
The Short Years

Today, as I look out my window, it’s grey, windy and wet. Just like it has been for so many of the past few months. Yesterday was golden; today is depressingly not. Some people talk about moving somewhere else, some place where sunshine is not a rare commodity that Mother Nature measures out in drips and drops. But I can’t help loving it here anyway.

 

image from Wikipedia

 

After all, according to the New York Times, Corvallis (and its overlooked sidekick, Albany) is THE safest place to live, natural-disaster-wise. I mean, yes, we’ve got rain. But we don’t generally have tornadoes, hurricanes, major earthquakes, droughts or blizzards. Unless you’re made of sugar, rain isn’t going to kill you. (That’s what my mom always used to say to me. “You’re not made of sugar! You won’t melt!”)

I also love that when we *do* have a sunny day after a long rainy spell, it’s not just another sunny day. It’s a magical day. Yesterday I went for a run with a friend along the Willamette River on Albany’s lovely Dave Clark path, hiked with my family at Bald Hill along the edge of Corvallis, and worked in the yard for hours. It was one of those days that was just so gosh-darn pleasant you want to put a pin in it and keep it in your mental scrapbook, preserved forever. (And, as my friend Stephanie eloquently points out, the fact that the news about Osama bin Laden’s death came as just a pleasant surprise at the end of a pleasant day is a testament to how fortunate we are to live in relative peace and safety every day).

In the Northwest, a sunny day brings everyone out of hiding–not just physically, but emotionally, too. There’s a tangible sense of goodwill spilling out of everyone. Everywhere I went yesterday, there were people, people, people; paths and trails and yards were full of pale folks soaking in the Vitamin D. Living here in the wintertime can feel a little like hibernating–everyone dashes from their cars to their houses without taking time to stop and chat. In spring, we all emerge, blinking in the light, and neighbors walk their dogs and dig in their gardens and wash their cars and we all smile at every person we see, whether a friend or a stranger, because after all–it’s a sunny day.