Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The weather challenge

Long-time Seattle-ites know it. Summer tourists even know it (to an extent). We all expect it: Seattle summers are delightful. Or, at least they are nine times out of ten. Last summer, we felt cheated, gypped. We waited for summer to arrive; and waited; and waited; pulled all our summer gear out of storage, shook out the summer clothes, and waited some more. And finally, she showed up for about two weeks and called it good.

I have a great deal of conversations about the weather. It's probably the quickest, most convenient, least intrusive topic to pull out as a barista, as well as a customer. Here in Seattle, we love to talk about the weather. In Montana, I've heard, people talk about hunting; but here, we talk weather. Seems we live for that next day of weather we deem "good," ironically, in a city that is more known for its cloudy, gray skies than its glorious summers.

I've noticed a trend this past year, starting first with my own conversations. When we'd experience a nice day of weather, I'd speculate how long it would last or bemoan the weatherperson's prediction of unlovely weather the remainder of the week, or God forbid, over the weekend. So much so, it was like I couldn't fully enjoy the present beautiful day. I was ungrateful. A day was only "good" if it met my criteria of "good" for the entire day; I'd dismiss those breaks of beauty splattered throughout. Funny, though, because in Seattle, we can't really afford to have such all-or-nothing thinking about the weather, or we'll be a perpetually miserable lot of people.

Several months ago, I wanted to challenge myself to look at life different. Weather-talk was a great place to start. It's hard to change this language, particularly when we as people tend to appreciate mutual commiseration. But I've been determined to appreciate the splashes of sunshine in an unusually blah spring, and now, in our delayed summer.

The past few days have been brilliant. Sun-filled, clear, warming to the bones, coloring to the skin. I don't know how long they'll last, as much as I'd like to expect it will be for the majority of the summer. But I'm going to soak in today and hold my tongue tomorrow if the skies cloud over.

My weather challenge to anyone else who's interested is this: Try doing away with expectations of beautiful weather this summer and practice appreciating the moments of beautiful weather that pop up and surprise us, take our breath away. Even after they've left us. Like the fireworks lighting up a night sky.


  1. The anticipation and expectation of a better tomorrow tends to steal the beauty of the present - thanks for the great reminder Amber!

  2. Of course! It's a reminder I seem to need daily...

    Take care :)