Happy in Seattle – a Gardener’s Take on Gray

A recent article in a local newspaper stated that a survey taken by the U.S. Census Bureau in mid-November of this year found Seattle to be the saddest major metro area in the country. Over half the population in the Seattle area reported feeling “depressed”, most reported feeling “down”, and many others reported feeling “hopeless”. The people surveyed were age 18 or older. While much of the negative outlook was attributed to the pandemic and its on-going consequences, our weather at this time of year was also mentioned as a contributing factor to the gloomy attitude.

Our late autumn through winter weather – often described as dull, miserable, cold, wet, depressing, gray, incessant, relentless, really gray, and very gray – can sometimes be, yes, gray. Cloud cover that arrives from the Pacific Ocean or Canada often hangs low in the sky and thoroughly obscures the stunning blue of our winter skies. Our damp coldness is tough to deal with and multiple layers of clothing and rain gear are required when working outside for extended periods of time, which this gardener frequently does. More than once, my rain gear has developed a leak (down the back, under the arms, around the waist, etc.) and when that cold rain reaches warm skin my work speeds way up. I sympathize with folks who sincerely detest this weather. It can be very uncomfortable and oppressive. And so very gray.

A bit of fog with our gray.
Gray can be bright at times.

But, as a life-long Seattleite, I know that blue will follow gray. It always does.

The beginning

And when blue skies overtake gray clouds, I know of no more beautiful place to live than here in Seattle. Just a little faith in blue will warm your soul – and your hands.

Something to cheer about.

Each season has its own beauty – some just require a little more work to find that beauty than others. But it’s there. Take a moment to look.

Winter sunset from my front yard.

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