Even though it’s a Saturday, I woke up later than I expected to, getting out of bed around 9:30. I can blame it in part on the weather: it’s not only cloudy, but drizzly out, and so the change in light level from night to morning was modest.
This isn’t to say that I dislike this kind of weather, though. This is what I’ve come to think of as “northwest rain.” San Francisco Bay is where two broadly-defined coastal regions meet: to the south is the chaparral-dotted oceanfront cousin of the high desert, and to the north is the rocky, foggy evergreen landscape that Pacific Northwest brings to mind. This is why, I think, the Bay Area is in such a climatological sweet spot: the meeting of these two forces produces Mediterranean temperature and precipitation. Napa and Sonoma aren’t the American answer to Tuscany by mere chance.
While the couple of times I’ve been to Seattle and the one time I’ve been to Portland did involve this kind of rain, they didn’t involve only this kind of rain, despite the reputation. I hear a lot of people say that they couldn’t ever imagine leaving in the Northwest because of the rain and the drizzle and the fog and the gray skies. My mother—who’s definitely one of those people—tells the story of a coworker who moved to Brooksville, Florida (a little rural town north of Tampa) from Seattle and was constantly complaining about how much better Seattle was, until she went back to visit. Then she came back and complained about how it rained the whole time she was there and it was so dreary and she was so glad she moved to Florida.
So as a guy who lived in Florida for about three decades of his life, you’d think I’d really hate these kinds of days. But I don’t at all. Instead, they conjure up very non-Floridian thoughts of lodges on pine bluffs, blustery evenings spent inside with coffee or cocoa by a fireplace with a book, and the feeling of missing that experience—even though I’ve never actually done it.
Instead of being mopey, I’m getting coffee and listening to a somewhat eclectic iTunes mix called “The Gentle Rain,” and contemplating what I will do for the day. It should clear up by the evening, so I may yet wander. But I think I’m going to stay around the house and see about a few neglected tasks I should, well, stop neglecting. Which includes just reading, even if it won’t be by our fireplace.