After the extreme heat a few weeks ago the cold weather came as a shock. First just gray skies all day and cooler temperatures - not entirely unwelcome as everything (plants, people and animals) took a breath and recovered. And then, a couple days later, the rain began. It rained all afternoon, all evening, all night. In the middle of August. But then, this is the pacific northwest and rain here - no matter what month it is - can never really come as a surprise.
Growing up here, in Oregon, you develop a relationship of sorts with the rain. In a way it makes you feel almost cozy, somehow. Outside it is dark, cold, wet. Inside it is warm, the glow from the light is golden, and you are dry on the couch, curled up with a quilt, dogs sprawled around you and cats sleeping in the corner. Looking out the window at the street there is a woman in a raincoat, holding an umbrella and walking her dog. They are illuminated at intervals along the street as they pass under street lights, the light shining down on her, the dog, the rain. They seem familiar to me, almost as if I know them, because I have been where they are - walking my dogs at night, in the rain, under the street lights - and she will soon be where I am - inside her own house, drying off in the warmth and light with her dog, her family.
I am not struck by this feeling every time it rains - only on occasion, only once in a while. It will appear to me suddenly and remind me why I love living here, even as wet, cold, and dark as it is on winter nights. Which is not to say that I won't welcome back the sun wholeheartedly whenever it decides to put in another appearance, but remembering this relationship with the rain will make it easier to head back into the dark months that are coming around the corner, and probably much sooner than I would like.