Archive for February, 2009

California Dreaming

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I have often wondered why the human species doesn’t all live in temperate weather – weather like they have in California or Italy or anywhere in their latitudinal band.

Because in ancient times, before polar fleece and Goretex, rain and cold must have been even more miserable. So why didn’t those ancients start walking toward the warmth? These people braved the land bridge from Asia to North America, for godsakes. Why would they stop in Alaska to live in igloos and face months when daylight hours were in the single digits? Why would they stop in the northwest to sit in windowless longhouses waiting for the rain to stop?

I think there is a need, especially in Seattle, for a website called findthesun.com. You would punch in your grey, depressing zipcode and some high tech combination of maps and weather forecasts would direct you to the closest sunny roadside spot. Ideally these spots would have wi-fi. When the rain became unbearable, I could consult findthesun.com, hop in the car and go there.

Of course, there is the alternative offered by full spectrum lighting. My friend Ileen has accustomed herself to this. She sits before her light each day of winter for a half hour, in her sunglasses, reading. It seems a sort of worship – the Klieg light at the end of the world – but cool, too, because of the sunglasses.

I guess it makes sense that sun-worshipping religions sprung up in sunny places: Greece (Helios), the Aztecs in Mexico, India, Babylonia. But it’s not that I want to worship the sun, it’s just my childhood in California set up an expectation that has gone wanting for 35 years in Seattle.

I suppose there is some character building going on here. I’m not one of those sunbirds who escape to Phoenix for the grey months. At least when the beautiful days from April to October come along, I can feel I earned them.

Yes, here we have another day of grey. Cottony grey-blue clouds rest on the darker blue-grey of the Sound. Luckily our family has a getaway to Palm Springs planned.

Glad I don’t have to walk all the way to get there.


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