Saturday, March 20, 2010




1 : the greenness of growing vegetation;also : such vegetation itself
2 : a condition of health and vigor

on some days, i am convinced the word-of-the-day is selected at random. today is not one of those days. today is the vernal equinox. this was clearly an act of premeditation on the part of mirriam-webster.

i looked outside my window the other day and noticed that spring had happened. am i just dense, or does it really seem to happen over night? there was one hardy day of rain and then—POOF!—spring. i can't remember whether it was that cunning on the east coast. i mostly remember sad piles of snow slowly melting somewhere in the safety of the shade until the middle of april. they always looked so pathetic—like the last child waiting for their irresponsibly late parents to pick them up when the only other being still on school grounds is the custodian.

spring is noticeably full of VERDURE in portland. it's because of all the rain! everyone says, convinced that a particularly green spring is our reward for walking around in misty drizzle for six months. (i mean, i'm not saying i'm not one of them...) but even though it's nice out this week, portland still has about three more months of rain to go before we really arrive at our reward: summer.

summer here truly does feel earned. it's as though portland is saying, you made it! one more winter behind you without jumping to your death from the top level of a parking garage! here's three months of sunshine! the summers really are beautiful here. not an ounce of humidity (unlike the sticky mess in new england) and usually only one week of hot-hot-hotness, during which most portlanders just go and hang out in the sandy river.

that said, we do miss out on the new england autumn—just as compelling, even though everything is turning from green to brown. is there a word for this? can i make one up?

brunere \BROON-er\ the brownness of dying vegetation; a condition of death and despair

but really, new england autumns are lovely.

1 comment:

  1. I am late at reading this post, so I can now tell you that we endured a years worth of rain in one month here in RI. There was flooding like crazy (the Warwick Mall had water 3 ft high flowing through it!). With that said, spring has also appeared to happen over night here as well. One morning I stepped out and crocuses were in bloom, only I hadn't even noticed them growing! And now a large portion of the trees have budded and the leaves are developing - also seemingly over night.

    You are right about New England summers though. They are HORRIBLE. I am envious of your Portland summers. I feel like autumn is our reward for dealing with the sticky hot summer. Autumn in New England is my favorite season, and I look forward to it each year like a child looks forward to Santa on Christmas. When Autumn arives I feel excited, refreshed, and invigorated.