We’re inching our way into spring around here. It’s about time. I always enjoyed our notoriously soggy autumns. They’re not too cold and the rain’s more mist and drizzle than the heavy duty stuff one sees back East. And the South? When you start measuring rain in inches-per-hour, that’s just showing off. To be honest, however, my favorite climate is tropical, or close to it. Heat and humidity never troubled me the way cold does and it seems the older I get the more the lower temperatures get to me. I suspect some snowbird flights in my future. Right now, however, you’d have trouble finding anywhere as beautiful as the Pacific Northwest. From where I sit I’m looking out at Mt. Rainier (it’s almost unearthly it’s so spectacular), a glistening Puget Sound, and the distant slope of a suburban valley that’s straining to pull itself free of winter. This time of year is when our area mimics the tropics. When people build homes here, forests disappear. That’s the bad news. The good news is, people plant trees. My apple trees are just showing pink. The cherry blossom popcorn clusters are full, just starting to shed petals. The plum tree’s a snowbank of flowers. The lilac (one of my mom’s favorites; the other was lily of the valley) is a combination of hard purple and pastel violet as the first blossoms break free of the buds. The whole valley’s a dazzle of greens and whites and pinks and reds. Then you’ve got azaleas and rhodies in uncountable colors. Saigon and Manila and Bangkok feature neighborhoods that constantly blaze with the same sort of display, but, if anything, our somber, sullen fall and winter make our spring all the more glorious.
There’s a line that goes “I may not be perfect, but parts of me ain’t bad at all.” Good enough.