I was born and raised in Seattle. I love the Pacific Northwest. One of the gifts of growing up in the Pacific Northwest is an overdeveloped appreciation for the sun. My husband calls it anxiety, and I call it fear of impending, unending, grey days. If we are in a car, or an airplane, or a mall and the sun comes out, I start to sweat and shake and repeat, “We have to go. We have to get outside now!”
I will never forget going to a Mariner’s Baseball game in the old Seattle Kingdome that was a fully enclosed cement fortress. No matter how many chocolate malts I ate, I knew it was sunny and I was not outside. Growing up, my parents would always wake us up and say, “We are going on a hike, the mountains are out!” It was as if a greater force was at work and we felt this need to burst out the door and soak it all in!
My husband is a real estate broker. The conversation in the Pacific Northwest is always about light and exposure. Most people want to know which way the house it oriented, what is the tree coverage like, and how much natural light is there on the property. I found it so interesting when we were in California this September, we stayed in a beautiful house and we never saw a neighbor. All the blinds were closed, air conditioning units were on, and cars were canopied. I had never been anywhere people tried to keep out exposure and light. It was a foreign concept to me.
Now, as we drive along the Adriatic Sea in October, with miles of sandy beach and the temperature in the 70’s, we don’t get very far, before I start my mantra, “Pull over. We have to get out. We have to run in the sun before it goes away! Pull over!” My husband reminds me that the annual average days of sun in Rome is 220, whereas in Seattle it is 164, which includes partly sunny. I am going to try to trust that there is an abundance of sun in Italy, and settle in. After all, the grey days in Seattle, make the sunny days so vivid by comparison.
I thank Seattle for the desire I have to rush into a glorious day without hesitation. Sometimes knowing something may cease to be, gives the moment a sweetness that doesn’t exist otherwise. I would also like to thank Italy for the 77 degree, sunny forecast we are enjoying today on the Adriatic Sea!