Sunday, February 20, 2011


Last week I spent two days out in the yard, trimming perennials, gazing at new bulbs' green spears, giving thanks for the many wonders that re-appear year after year. Sunshine wrapped around me in a blanket of sixty degree air.

This morning snow is falling and the berms, the beds, the paths I cleared last week are frozen and white. It's been a week of psychotic weather.

Snow, hail, rain, and low sunlight merged here on Wednesday afternoon, leaving a trail of crunched cars and unhappy commuters. One pile-up involved 18 cars. Folks were blinded by brilliant sun bounding off prisms of water and ice.

On Friday Sadie and I lolled all afternoon in the sunroom as grumpy storms huffed by. Thunder roared and wind slashed at tree limbs. Hail walloped the yard, drumming loudly on the sunroom's metal roof. Sadie and I just hunkered together and enjoyed the excitement of it all. Moments later, all was still. Awhile later, the white pellets were gone, as though nothing had happened.

Mid-week, my cousin in Utah reported that three huge pines in her yard were uprooted by wind and beaten down by snow. Her neighborhood wore its destruction like a raggedy war refugee.

Snow fell in the rainforest of the Pacific northwest, nothing as bad as the weeks of white chaos two years ago, the horror that my daughter describes as "Snowapaloosa." But snow fell where it's not supposed to, in the temperate fir and cedar hills of Portland and Seattle.

Yesterday we were warned to get into bomb shelters at five pm to avoid the winter storm barrelling toward us. Never did see that brute, just cold, windy, spits of sleet.

Although the intensity of the week's weather out this way could be blamed on global weirding, I'm inclined to say that it's just spring. Spring weather in my mind is psychotic. It's bi-polar. It's schizo. It's manic and depressive. It knows nothing of nuance. It's all about extremes.

That is one of the things that makes spring so much fun in this country. You never know what the day will bring and so must be prepared for all: chains, Goretex, packs, Tevas and sunscreen.

With the important exception of the distress it causes for people like my cousin, this bold, annoying weather is a bit enchanting. It reminds me of the grandeur of the natural world and how insignificant we human types really are. I don't mind being subjected to a little of the pscyhotic behavior that is springtime.

No comments:

Post a Comment