You wouldn’t think one should miss the rainy, cold Pacific Northwest in the beginning of June, or crave it when they’re just being introduced to hot summer fun. Oddly, we do. As a true native of the Northwest, the rain comforts me. It has become my home – hiking with dampened dirt clinging to your new white shoes; sitting in your kitchen watching the sky water the earth; and being able to identify a real Seattleite by their lack of umbrella, even on the wettest of days. In fact, they probably don’t even own an umbrella. Sure, you have those days – namely the Fourth of July – where you beg for sun, warm water for boating and dry lawns for barbeques, but for the most part, we’ve grown accustomed to the sky’s dumping of excess water. We’ve grown to love it, and to long for it when we leave.
Back in Colorado, we transition from sunny and cool, clean spring days to warm Colorado rain. The rain here is different. After thirty minutes of torrential downpour – bucketing big, heavy drops – it disappears, revealing again blue sky and bright sun. It is sudden, coming and going unexpectedly. It is warm. And when the droplets stop falling, we are left with that thick smell of rain on the pavement, interrupted views from our windows that quickly and quietly disappear and a tease of humidity hanging around.
The rain here is different. It does not carry reminders of home, the misty Washington coast or smooth, glassy lakes on perfectly gray mornings. It is not refreshing, it does not seem essential; it does not seem like the sky’s time to water our green. It does not seem to possess an identity, a deliberate being. But perhaps these are things left to discover over the next few months – the characteristic traits of rain in the Rocky Mountain West.
Summer has begun at Colorado College. I have yet to experience Colorado’s version of the season… I have a feeling I’ve been missing out.