Sunday, June 6, 2010

Breaking news: it's raining in Oregon

Clearly it’s a 40 days/40 nights plus scenario here in tropical Portland OR, and people are freaking out. Though it’s traditional for the heavens to pour down on the annual Starlight Parade, for once the rain actually gave us a brief intermission, especially for the occasion, apparently, before returning to business as usual overnight.



It’s been raining now for months, and while everyone else gripes about it, I exult. My garden is growing itself! The entire city is shades of emerald, viridian -- it’s viridifloral, how about that -- and I’m not just referring to the moss. Okay, so my basil plants are drowning and the tomatoes are outraged. Everything else says THANK YOU.

“Rain-grey town….known for its sound…” Though the song wasn’t talking about San Francisco at the time, it fits Portland in both its sentiments and its scene-painting. This wuthering, brooding, tempest-toss’d mess is what I moved here for eight years ago, eschewing the unvarying desert of L.A. for good. So I’m astonished every single year when real-live Portlanders say: OMG, the rain! As Ken Kesey wrote in Sometimes a Great Notion, “It ain’t no secret it’s gonna rain in Oregon.”

But-but-but, you point out, he was talking about the winter. Whereas we’re supposed to be well into summer by now here. Well, console yourself with the study of historical climatology, which posits that the endless warm, wet summers of the Elizabethan era may have contributed to a creative “climate” producing the likes o’Shakespeare, Marlowe, Dowland and Inigo Jones. Not to mention Queen Bess herself.

Yes, one wet summer is not an historical epoch. Just saying. Gather ye mushrooms while ye may.

11 comments:

MightyToyCannon said...

Thanks for posting that fab Beatles vid. As I walked the dog early this morning, I thought, "We would all be exulting in a warm summer rain like this had it been hot and dry for weeks."

MattyZ said...

People forget that this actually happens quite often; our summer doesn't begin until July...and runs sometimes well into October some years. And you and I both like the gray...

Miss Laura said...

Now I have sideburn envy.

Col ceathair said...

I was wondering if you were going to post again. I was about to call the Gardaí.


Hey, I thought Kesey had another phrase in that sentence, something like "in winter" or "at the Oregon coast." You'd know better than I, though!


I can deal with the Rose Festival rains but this is too muggy. Ugh. I am against the muggification.

Mead said...

CC, you're quite right about the rest of Kesey's phrase. Which is why I referenced it in the next paragraph. You're supposed to read ALL the post, you see -- though random as mine have become, I'm just grateful you check in at all!

Col ceathair said...

I'm busted!

Mead said...

O, quite all right. We've all got water on the brain. I spend a good chunk of the day teaching myself to play mah jong -- it's hard!!

mampdx said...

For me it's been less the rain than the COLD rain - it's warmed up a bit, but May felt more like March!

The Frog Queen said...

:( I wish it would stop. It is hard to paint Halloween decorations in the rain. :)

Cheers!

Mead said...

FG, now look what you've done -- sun's shining like blazes! And I'm mellllllltttinggggggg... (ah, my beautiful wickedness....who'd a thought that a girl like you....)

C A Wohlmut said...

we always forget, at least I do, that the best months are Aug-Oct. Beautiful summer to gorgeous fall.

Oh, look if I would read the comments first I would see that Matt already beat me to this observation. (Smart man, Matty Z)

But, I confess with two little ones in the house, a day or two of sunshine would make all the difference...