No, it doesn’t rain here all the time. This isn’t one of the rainiest cities in the U.S. Annual precipitation isn’t really high. Buffalo and Cleveland rank higher in days where it rains or snows each year. Locals will scoff at tales of constant rainfall, insisting urban legends such as this will keep away the riffraff. And NBCnews.com asks, “Do you think Seattle is the rainiest city in the United States? Well, think again. Mobile, Ala., actually topped a new list of soggiest cities in the contiguous 48 states, with more than 5 feet of rainfall annually, according to a study conducted by San Francisco-based WeatherBill, Inc. The Southeast dominated the most rainy list, while the Pacific Northwest never enters the list until Olympia, Washington pops up at number 24.”
My fellow Northwesterners, you can protest all you want … but the fact is, it is wet in Seattle.
It was not until I moved east that I realized just HOW wet it is in Seattle. The ground is wet. The AIR is wet. I spent the past week in the Seattle area under a thick cloud of fog – seeing the sun break through just twice – and I was wet. I had bad hair days. I had flashbacks of wet Januarys when my umbrella would be turned inside out. Moss grows on everything. But there was no rain this past week … nothing to add to the rainfall total, just a thick, penetrating fog that sometimes sat right on the ground. It coated everything – the lawn, the shrubbery, the roads, the dog – and it was cold and damp and got right into your bones. Until I moved away, I never even noticed this – even when it took an extra hour in the morning on the ferry to cross the Sound into West Seattle. In retrospect, I think we need to lose the “s” out of “west”.
But … and I am talking to you, fellow Northwesterners … have you ever really gone outside and looked at things closely on a foggy morning such as what you’ve had this past week? My mother pointed out how beautiful the spiderwebs were on the shrubs, and on closer inspection I found a world of beauty in these bad hair days. Everything was coated in tiny water droplets, which shimmered like diamonds, and as I flew home last night and looked down on the towns below me I realized they resembled what I saw on what was left of my mother’s clematis: glittering lights in gold and silver, spread out randomly but in some kind of odd order, harmonious and beautiful.
Am I sorry I didn’t see the sun this past week? No … these photos offer an explanation why we Northwesterners don’t complain too much. If you look closely enough, it’s reason enough to stay quiet. Seattle’s beauty is in the details.