posted by March 19 at 10:20 AMon
You drive out of town in a friend’s car with several snowboards strapped to the roof. It’s dark. It’s going to rain. Then you’re in the mountains, several miles south of the Canadian border. You go to bed, you wake up, and sure enough. At the snowboard rental shop, the lady says, “You know it’s raining?” This is so that you don’t ask for your money back. You rent stuff anyway.
The snow on Mt. Baker is juicy. It’s like a white cherry Slurpee. It doesn’t hurt to fall—both because it’s slippery-soft and because you’ve learned how not to fall. But it rains and rains and rains. According to a sign in the snowboard rental shop, the rain is supposed to let up. Doesn’t happen. Over lunch in the lodge, staring out at dogs and cats falling from the sky, everyone else decides they’ve had enough. You all head back to the cabin, sit in the hot tub, drink beer, and say a bunch of things to the effect of, “Next time.”
The next day would have been great for snowboarding—no rain, some sun, perfect temperature, day-after-it-rained snow—but certain people insist on getting back. On the drive back to Seattle you watch the unfolding of spring. You drop someone off in Wallingford, across the street from a crazily blossoming tree. The sliver of Lake Union you can see is crowded with white sails. There are crazily blossoming trees in other neighborhoods too. You have you take off some layers. It’s 62 degrees! You go home and sit in the sun in your living room. Your brain fills with some E. E. Cummings poems about spring: “you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully, myseriously) her first rose”… “it’s spring and the goat-footed balloonman whistles far and wee”…
Next morning, alas, it’s back to being mud-luscious out. It’s expected to rain all week, according to the radio.