Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Signs of Life

Hello blog friends. Last week it was full on spring around here. The sun was out playing with big fat fluffy clouds, the wind chasing them both around the sky. The tulip fields were showing off their new party dresses and the birds were chattering away about their plans for the future. Less than a week later and I’m completely confused about which season we’re in. So too, is my garden. When the sun was out and the sweaters were off, the tulips made a mad dash onto the stage and just as show time drew near, the curtain came sogging down--it was soaking wet.

And that’s what I love about the Northwest. It’s totally schizophrenic. It doesn’t know if it wants to be coastal, rain forest, farmland, high desert or urban chic. It’s got water coming and going in every direction imaginable and even in some directions unimaginable. It can’t decide if things are going to grow strictly out of the ground, out of old logs, on top of concrete or just hanging in mid air. And heaven forbid you try to pin down the weather for longer than 15 minutes. You can get whiplash out here just getting your coat off and on. We’ve given up completely on umbrellas, it’s just too darn dangerous.

I suppose that like the people, the plants here have just learned to live between the drops. In spite of the mostly unreasonable rain/hail/snow this week the tulips, daffodils and forget-me-nots, etc. have continued to bloom. I just haven’t been able to get out there to enjoy them much. Oh, and yes, I did say snow. Thankfully none of it stuck, but it was a very nice display of big fat fluffy flakes. Between bursts of blinding rain and pelting hail the sun peeks out for a bit and I’ve managed to run outside with my trusty camera for a few minutes to snap some pictures before my fingers freeze up. It’s fascinating to me that in spite of the whine worthy weather the flowers are still maintaining their steady march toward blooming glory.

What I love about this insanely unreliable weather here is that it is as true a reflection of human nature as you can get. It’s not always warm and sunny, nor is it consistently cold and gloomy. It’s tempestuous and unreasonable one minute, mild and pleasant the next, then randomly glorious and entirely resistant to prediction. It never lets you forget that you are in an active committed relationship with a living breathing entity. Just as we have moods and emotions that are effected by innumerable forces and events so does the weather. It is the breath of the planet, the sound of it’s heartbeat and the voice of it’s soul.

I whine and complain like the cantankerous other half of an old married couple when I don’t get my way, and it howls with bitterness reminding me of who’s the boss in this eternal, sometimes infernal, relationship. But there is also cooing and soothing, warm smiles and gentle breezes. There are sunny days filled with golden bliss, making me fall in love all over again, forgetting the squabbles and frigid stares that tormented me so. Gifts of sweet flowers are offered in supplication and like any lover I am easily wooed from my anger. I will eagerly forgive the long dark months of harsh cold treatment for one warm glowing day. I will feel the earth’s warm breath on the back of my neck and smell the sweet gentle fragrance of rain washed air as I gladly accept the gift of spring. Summer will whisper in my ear that the whole world is in love with me and I will believe it. And it will even be true…for that moment. It’s all we have really. Just one moment before the next is all that we can truly claim. Life is like the weather, always changing, never in isolation, terrifying and beautiful in an instant.

I love living here, on the edge of weather. It can be plenty frustrating and certainly takes its toll sometimes but it is never boring. I like the banter and the bickering, as a matter of fact I think I thrive on it. I live for the days when the sun plays hide and seek with the clouds, the wind playing keep away with my hat. Icy stares that turn the world into diamonds and the long simmering gazes that turn everything into liquid gold. I like not knowing what’s coming next, always being kept on my toes and wondering if the sun will shine on me today or if a cold blast of indifference will greet me. I like being reminded that life is a moving action, a thing to participate in, actively engaging as each moment approaches. I love that the ever changing weather here reminds me that every day, every moment is a new one, that every second is changing and moving. This incredible inconsistent uncertain weather reminds me that time is alive. That I am alive and my time is now.


  1. Wow LeSan ~ What a great post! Your writing and pictures make me feel great to be alive, thankful for yet another moment to live.

    Enjoy your spring weather and gardens.


  2. A good description of life for every living thing with its ups and downs.
    It just keeps going on though.
    What beautiful pictures LeSan with your posting.I always love visiting your blog.

  3. Spring is so beautiful at your place.

  4. Wow you sure did get some beautiful pictures while the sun was out. I can relate to your whole post. We live in a beautiful place and if it wasn't for the crazy weather it wouldn't look the way it does. It sure is easy to forgive the weather when we see the sun return, like right at this very moment. I've already forgotten about how irritated I was feeling this morning after hail and then snow. The sun is out and everything looks extra pretty.

  5. Your northeast garden is beautiful, LeSan. I cannot relate to all that water - we live in the desert - and we get only a thimbleful, but spring by far is a showcase for the flowers.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. My husband whines that he would hate the rain in the NW but I know I would love it if I could have a garden that looked even remotely like yours!

    I get SICK of the sun, sometimes.