Friday, 28 December
I was born a short ferry ride from Seattle (not short enough for a woman in labor) and moved to the city when I was about a year old. With that Northwest Native upbringing, I'm not affected in the least by seasonal affective disorder. I almost enjoy this weather. It's soothing. It makes you enjoy things like hot spiced wine and fireplace fires and snuggly sweaters. It's how winter here is supposed to be. It's like prozac that evens out the more exciting--good and bad--weather patterns we get in Seattle. It's dreary to some but comforting to me.
I was thinking of this on a cold, wet 4-hour ride last Sunday, enjoying the subtle palette of colors in the Snohomish valley. The first few words of a Christmas carol I never learned kept popping to mind, so I went home and looked them up. They really seem to describe winter here, except that some of the layers of snow might be replaced by puddles of water.
In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.
And really it only looks bleak if you're grumpy and think it's monochromatic and are looking for something to complain about. On a short lunchtime walk yesterday, I found bursts of color breaking up the endless shades of grey.
Lest you try to read between the lines, I assure you that I don't find riding my bike in this particularly comforting or soothing or enjoyable. But those glorious days of summer would be so much less remarkable if we didn't have bleak midwinter days for contrast.