You know, there’s something about the country. I’m a city boy and I always will be, but there’s something about being in the country that makes one beautifully aware of the seasons. We drove over to Cashmere last night. Traffic wasn’t bad, but it was a tougher drive simply because it came at the end of a long week. West of the mountains, we were pretty much driving though weather relatively typical of a Pacific Northwest spring night. Clouds and rain.
Then we started climbing up into Stevens Pass. It’s a steep climb out of the Skykomish Valley characterized by a big arc around the side of the mountain. Somehow, we got ourselves between groups of fellow travellers and we felt very alone. As we climbed, ghostly puffs of clouds appeared and vanished, apparations taunting the edge of consciousness. At first they were infrequent, but they quickly grew and grew until suddenly we were enveloped to the point where our high beams only illuminated clouds and fog. We slowed down until our visibility returned with more rain, changing to snow at the top of the pass and back to rain for our descent into Cashmere.
The morning we partly cloudy with rain off and on. We drove into Wenatchee for haircuts, deftly avoiding Apple Blossom traffic. In the morning light, spring was evident everywhere: in the new grass pushing up though the moist soil, in the cool morning air, in the white pear blossoms in the orchards along the road. The sun is warm. The shade is cold. Snow still dominates the surrounding peaks and the wind carries a reminder of winter not long past.
Any of these signs can be found in the city, but you have to be looking. In the country, where daily life is inextricably tied to nature, it’s unavoidable and unmistakable.
And that’s a good thing.