I’ve lived in the Seattle area nearly eight years now and I still can’t get used to the weather. It will look gorgeous outside. I will don a light jacket and head out for a brisk walk. And all of a sudden I will realize that the cold, wet objects falling from the sky are in fact snow flakes. Snow flakes! Forrest Gump could have been talking about Seattle weather, you never know what you’re gonna get.
I’m a California girl. A sun worshiper. Don’t be fooled by my pale skin. I think I was a plant in a former life because whenever the sun is out I find myself leaning towards the nearest window. I grew up in temperatures where you broke a sweat just getting out of bed. Where you were sure you were surrounded by dementors when you stepped out of the house because you were definitely having the breath sucked out of you against your will. But the glorious thing was swimming pools. Floating in a pool with the sun beating down and the cool water beneath you was nothing short of a religious experience. It was like you were being infused with the will to live.
So you see, the long, cold, wet seasons here are going to be my undoing. It is no coincidence that the acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder is SAD. The name says it all. I went walking with a friend the other day. There was a bite to the air but the sun was out and it was quite beautiful. We got to laughing about how the long, cold, wet days start to mess with your head. How you’re sure that you must be coming down with something because you feel so sluggish and your bones hurt and you’re sure your heart is beating slower than it should. So you hit up WebMD and discover that you have a rare form of impetigo that attacks the heart and surely you have weeks to live. And on top of that you’re sure you also have lupus and possibly congenital heart disease and a side of bird flu. And then, the next day, the sun comes out and your symptoms mysteriously disappear and you’re quite sure you could walk on water if you really wanted to. The weather can seriously mess with your head. The struggle is real.
There are things I love about this area. I LOVE being so close to my family. I love how lush and green everything is year round and that there are so many waterfalls you couldn’t possibly explore them all. I used to love how the squirrels run freely through my yard. Until they got into the trash I left out and ate my strawberries before I could. But for the most part, it really isn’t a bad place to live.
It’s just that it starts to get to me at times. Even though I know that the summer always comes and that I won’t be in the fetal position in front of my heater vent forever, sometimes it feels like things will never change. It struck me today that life is very much like the weather. (Thanks crappy weather for the epiphany).
Nothing ever stays the same forever. Not the weather, not circumstances, not feelings. Things shift and change. In the midst of really hard times, it can feel so permanent. Like a forever winter. I look at my almost 18-year-old daughter and realize I was sure she was going to be a kid forever. Now she’s this adult person about to move away and I wonder where in the world the time went.
We will all have days, or weeks, or months where we’re sure life will never look good again. Where we’re absolutely sure we have mad cow disease or are being poisoned slowly by tuna fish. Where we think we will never again feel joy, or love, or passion. I can assure you, it’s not true. Things always shift and change. And in the famous words of a little orphan girl – the sun will come out tomorrow.