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.