Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring, Not Spring, Spring, Not Spring......

We slept with the windows open last night. Covered in our blankets and a quilt, tucked into our flannel sheets, we left the windows open all night for the first time this year. The night was clear and cold and the moon left bright blue opal light in stripes across the floor where it came through the blinds.

It will take us a while to get re-used to the sounds of living an urban life. Our house is in the SeaTac airport flight path, we are just north of Boeing field where the UPS flights depart at 4:00 a.m., I-5 is only blocks away and we are encircled by I-90 as it folds under the hill to float across the lake towards the east. Up on the hill as we are, we also get to hear the trains heading away out of town and the ferry horns blapping like sea monsters as they leave the dock. When it is foggy, the sound of the cars on the highway and the pillowy sound of the foghorns combine for a southern Oregon coastal experience. Being above the Sound, we get the rich sent of salt and seaweed, savory additions to the sound of tire-waves. A big city lullaby.

It seemed as if Spring would never come. I know it is supposed to rain again tomorrow but it is easy to forget how horrible this last winter was when we are given even one single day of true clear sunlight and warmth. Everyone at work took their breaks outside, the store was empty (all retail in Seattle truly sucks when spring hits. We are so torn: rage against the weather or pray for it to stay? Income or giddiness? Can't we shop for toilet paper when it rains again?), sweaters and gloves left in lockers and backpacks. The ducks at Lyon Creek were lolling about on the banks where just last week those same banks were completely under water. It snowed last Wednesday. It was in the 70's yesterday.

I have been walking around the store perimeter on my breaks, with a little stop to see the ducks, reading my book group book for this month, Donald Duk, by Frank Chin. It's the story of Donald Duk, a soon to be 12 year old boy, on the eve of the New Year. He is unhappy with his name and embarrassed by his family and by being Chinese. This changes when his white friend, Arnold, stays with his family for the New Year celebrations. Arnold is fascinated by Donald's large extended family and asks the questions Donald should ask but won't. With Arnold there to field the answers and to be involved, Donald learns what his past and his culture include and some of the reasons he should embrace the world that makes him who he is. It was good, funny, and Donald is a very American teenager. I love his parents and his Uncle Donald Duk, a famous Chinese Opera star.

The weather is still gorgeous, supposed to be up in the 70's again, and I am on my way to work. I am going to watch for banks of daffodils planted in the full sun (ours at home are still mostly hard green buds), I am going to look at the ducks, I am going to check in on the Hen Cam, and enjoy the heat.

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