Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sun Breaks

This weekend seems to be going remarkably well, and I think the reason is that I awoke yesterday morning to a whole lot of blue in the sky and a very bright sun.

Seattle this time of year is typically gray and rainy. I heard Sting comment once that Seattle reminded him a lot of home, meaning England. I have never been to England, but I hear it’s often grey and rainy there, too.

I had not heard “sun breaks” forecast by TV meteorologists until coming to Seattle. Sun breaks are short periods of time during the day when the gray ceiling opens up a tad and actual sunlight breaks through the clouds. It can be a glorious thing after six or seven straight days of drizzle.

When much-needed sun breaks do happen, they are always commented upon, with gratitude, by appreciative Seattleites.

Sunshine often provides amazing restorative physical and psychological properties to Seattleites. I heard somewhere that Seattle sells more pairs of sunglasses per capita than any other major American city. I don’t know if that’s true, but I personally have gone out and purchased sunglasses because of an unexpectedly sunny day.

Here is a rundown on my sunglasses:

Pair 1: Cheap drugstore variety. $8. Plastic tortoise shell frames with very dark lenses. I carry them in my laptop bag. They are with me almost always, serving as my emergency redundant backup pair.

Pair 2: Foster Grants for about eighteen bucks, metal frames, modern design, purchased while out of town and finding myself unexpectedly bathed in sunlight. This pair is kept in a little case in my wife’s car.

Pair 3: Very similar to Pair 2, purchased at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC, under similar circumstances. I keep them in the sun visor of my car.

Pair 4: My “good” sunglasses, purchased at the Bon Marche in downtown Seattle after someone had placed a $70 pair of sunglasses on the “$14.99 or LESS” rack. It is without a doubt I chose the best pair of sunglasses on the $14,99 or LESS” rack. I was too embarrassed to tell the cashier of the mistake and went ahead and paid for them. These I keep in their case in my car.

The other sixteen pair I have purchased since moving to Seattle are spread out across Seattle in a variety of restaurants and coffeehouses, including the Broadway New American, B&O espresso, the Elephant and Castle, the late Minnie’s Cafe and the now-demolished Palmer’s.

The blue sky and sunshine I woke to yesterday are gone. Forecast for today? Rain. All day. But I am still hopeful for a few sun breaks.

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