All of This

Seattle has a reputation for rain. When I first traveled there two years ago, I was lucky enough to be squeezed between two locals on the flight over, full of tips and must-sees for my inaugural visit. When I (inevitably) asked about the weather, the woman to my right confessed that although yes, it did rain most days, it was usually only briefly in the morning or afternoon, preceded or followed by sun. Then, just as the lush green mountaintops and forest firs were coming into view below, she went on to say something I’ll never forget:

All of this. No explanation was needed. I was surrounded by dense woods, trees whose lifespan far surpassed my own, and a mountain backdrop that was a refreshing change of scenery from the industrial landscape I’d left behind. All made possible by year-round rainfall, for which the city is so famous.

The Emerald City is named so for a reason. Wildflowers adorn nearly every sidewalk, highway, and hillside, thriving in every season. Yet we forget that year-round greenery requires year-round rain. Without it, the Emerald City would cease to be what it is today.

Besides, if we didn’t get so much rain, we wouldn’t have all of this.

Perhaps too, our lives’ green patches need a steady rainfall to flourish year and year again. It’s difficult to bear witness to the good that unfolds without acknowledging the storms that came before.

Our days can bring a steady drizzle, or a sudden downpour. And often, before we see new blooms, a seed has already been planted, our roots already strengthened.

We’re not always good at piecing together the weather of our lives. Our fondest memories can quickly disappear when tragedy strikes, just as our rough patches can readily fade when we’re met with good news. Yet the changing seasons of our surroundings are deeply intertwined, each gradually giving way to the next. Long winters prelude mild springs, and cherished summers come to pass.

Like the gardens that catch our eye, we need sun and rain in order to thrive, to enrich our soil.

Like the gardens that catch our eye, we need sun and rain in order to thrive, to enrich our soil. If you’re in a monsoon season, let in some light. If the sun is shining, be deliberate in your appreciation of all the goodness and beauty that surrounds you.

Whatever your current landscape, find comfort in all the forces that came together to make it so.