Disconcerting doesn’t quite describe the atmosphere or the feelings floating around in the puddles of the Pacific NW. Land sliding down hillsides and caves opening where earth once supported the roads are enough to frighten even the bravest of residents. I caution my husband to travel down our mountain carefully, taking a road which seems more likely to be held by firm ground. I worry that the narrow street winding around the back side of the mountain could end up in a pile of mud at the bottom.
All my life I have heard about rain in this part of the country. Until now I have seen nothing like this – 25 days of consistent rain. Past winters were drizzly, but it is the downpours this year which are creating the floods. It all began during Christmas with what they call the Pineapple Express which blew in from Hawaii and stormed the west coast. When we returned from our Christmas vacation we were met with rain and landslides in northern California and icy patches mixed with snow in the higher elevations of Oregon’s Interstate 5. Rain and wind slammed the coast and sent precipitation east. It never stopped.
I don’t usually mind the rains. They give me permission to lounge by the fire, read a new book, write letters, or take long, lazy naps. I like to listen to it tapping on the skylights and think about nature’s refreshment. But this is too much!
Now I worry that the many bulbs we planted in our gardens here will decay as they sit in pools of water. At least we know the evergreens towering high above us will have plenty to drink this winter. Usually the canopy made by their branches interferes. Now some are tumbling down in places as the saturated earth can no longer support their weight.
Come spring the gardens, deeply watered, will flourish in our emerald city’s sunlight. Until then, the ducks have free rain…oops…rein.