The Sun, My Old Friend

Sunny rainy city by Blanca Gomez

I am certain I can count on one hand the sunny days Seattle’s had in the last five months. What’s crazy is I had no issue with the past two Pacific Northwest winters I’ve experienced, but this one is a real doozy, friends, and my vitamin D pills aren’t cutting it anymore…

When I was home in the SF Bay Area a month ago, my father picked me up at the airport and we drove around town. It was about 9 o’clock in the morning and the sun was shining so brightly, it honest-to-God shocked me. I got out of the car in the middle of a parking lot in Livermore, held out my arms — I’m not kidding you — and just stood there, feeling the sun soak into my skin. I was like a sun-junkie out of the movie Sunshine; totally and completely addicted to that feeling of warmth and light. It’s the first time I’ve experienced that feeling.

It’s true what they say: living in a place with real seasons makes you appreciate good weather more when you have it. I admit, I never appreciated the sun when I went to school in paradise (otherwise known as UC Santa Barbara) or when I was growing up in California. It’s easy to take it for granted, and I moved away because I genuinely loved rain and cold weather.

But 45ºF in April is flat-out unacceptable.

The sun is up there. Warmth is lurking beyond this hovering gray blanket and I am ready for it. I have said numerous times: summer is the reason that I stayed in Seattle as long as I have. It really can’t be beat; it’s a warm 75-80ºF, the city is bustling, everyone is happy, the parks are full of people and their dogs, everything is blooming and lush and green… I am in love with summer in Seattle. It’s (dare I say?) even nicer than Santa Barbara.

But this winter (and now spring) has been so bad, for the first time I can see why people gripe incessantly about dreary weather. I’ve never felt the effects of weather internally before; it’s been a completely foreign type of depression, the way my sadness and irritability is manifesting on a physical level is pretty horrible.

Luckily the effects of sunshine are contagious, so all I need do now is wait for it to arrive. Forecast predicts temperatures may rise to a whopping 53ºF this weekend (so warm), and the sun may actually show his face! And in true Seattle-style, I will welcome him with the unpleasantly pale sight of me in a skirt and halter top. Me-ow.

To my friends in California and New York: I envy you. I wish I was where you are. I hope you are enjoying your 72.5º weather. I hope you are getting outside and soaking up the sun and relishing in his loveliness. I hope you are thanking him for relieving you from a truly awful winter.

Oh, and please, tell him to come find me in Seattle. He keeps standing me up.

(Image: “Sunny rainy day” by Blanca Gomez)

One thought on “The Sun, My Old Friend

  1. SAD is the worst. After college, I’d say I had pretty severe seasonal depression for at least 3 years, maybe 4 or 5. When I lived in Northeastern France, I had a week off in October for All Saint’s and went to the Riviera (Cannes, my old stomping grounds) with a friend. I distinctly remember getting off the train in Marseille and having a visceral, nearly uncontrollable desire to lie on the ground with my cheek to the pavement, just to soak up the warmth from the sun on the ground. Damn, I had it bad.


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