April and May bring warmth and longer days, but the cloudy darkness often seeps into June.
Relief — Sweet But Fleeting
After months and months of darkness and rain, it’s no surprise that the arrival of summer sunshine is a huge relief for everyone in Seattle. We’ve earned it and a whole new lifestyle can begin again.
But the arrival of summer sun comes with an obligation, a duty to make up for lost time, a need to squeeze every drop of fun from a few months of long warm days. It’s a feeling of pressure, pressure to make the most of a fleeting resource.
In some ways, summer in Seattle is like a romantic long-distance relationship. Think about it this way:
Two lovebirds, separated by geography and time, plan a glorious weekend together. For weeks, they plan diligently for making the absolute most of their limited time together. It will be nirvana.
When the day finally comes, it’s amazing. They are so relieved to finally, at long last, be together. Over delicious meals, long walks and private time together, their enjoyment becomes mixed with anxious feeling that gnaws at them.
A kind of pressure builds. The tick-tock of the weekend clock gets louder. Every minute they both feel the need to do more, to make the weekend that much more memorable. They ask:
Is this what we should be doing? Is he/she having fun? Are we making the most of our limited time together?
The pressure has a way of adding stress to what is supposed to be a glorious, carefree experience together. By the time the weekend is over, tearful goodbyes lead to a bit of relief. The pressure goes away. What’s done is done.
And so it is with summers in Seattle.
Seattle’s short summer is a kind of long distance relationship we have with the sun. We spend months anticipating its return and all the time apart creates a real sense of urgency. Every summer day, bright sun arrives around 5:30am and whispers to me “I won’t be around for long, make today count!”
In July and August the whole city comes alive. Sundresses appear in parks along with the lilies. Instagram becomes full of wilderness hikes, boats and BBQs. It is glorious… and the pressure starts to build.