Thursday, July 23, 2009

The excellent rain

While taking the dog out this morning for his morning constitutional, I felt a cool, light and wet feeling on my arms. The air has been so dry this summer in the Pacific Northwest that I looked around to see if I had unknowingly walked through a sprinkler. From an overcast sky, I received the refreshing blessing of a rain I had not felt in years--the rain mist that doesn't get you wet. I felt the rain, but there was no evidence of rain on my skin or clothing.

As Timothy Egan points out in his great book, The Good Rain, Seattle is not even close to being a top city in the U.S. for rain (though its neighbor on the coast, Quillayute, is #3). There is still a perception of rain culture in the PNW that cannot be shaken.

Maybe the rain perception has something to do with the overcast skies, the moderate climate, the method of dress for locals, even the way the locals name a huge festival after an English colloquialism for an umbrella (a festival that celebrates the region a few weeks before the rains come for another 8 months or so). Maybe it has something to do with feeling a rain that I have never felt anywhere else in my travels.

The rain this morning reminded me (quoting a friend): "my feet felt like they belonged." It rained, but my feet didn't get wet. It's almost like Moses with the burning bush (Exodus 3:2): "[Moses] looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed."

I stood under the rain, yet I was not wet: a Pacific Northwest odyssey.

No comments: