The Ominous Seattle Sun Strikes Again

Autumn in Seattle is like driving through a soup of sneeze spray. The cloud ceiling is low, pets are moody and pedestrians focus on their destination with as little courtesy as possible. One might think a crystal blue autumn sky would be welcome here, but I look to it with distrust. It’s just not natural.

I was first aware of the ominous autumn sun after peeling myself off the floor and away from the TV on Tuesday, the 11th of September, 2001. I spent the morning like most of the world watching the news but couldn’t delay my workday any longer. I opened my apartment door and stepped into the bright sunlight. The air was still. No birds. No wind or airplanes flying over Jet City. It was eerie. Unobstructed views of the Olympic Mountain over one shoulder and the Cascades on the other. No clouds. Silent.

It was as if I was caught in a YouTube “loading” loop, witnessing a hiccup in reality. A moment later a car started and a flock of birds erupted from a tree. Time started back up but there was a sense reality was altered. Everyone touched by that sky changed, whether they knew it or not.

Tuesday, the 8th of November, 2016, Election Day. I walked across the driveway to take the kids to school. I looked up at the brilliant November sun.  I closed my eyes and bathed in it because I might not see it again until May. It was so warm. The warmest recorded November day in Seattle history, as it turns out. No airplanes. No cars passing my busy street. The children already out of earshot. Déjà vu seeped in and stunned me with a jolt. Blood drained from my face and I had the first of a series of small panic attacks that were like little strokes of warning. Life will be different; reality altered. Everyone touched by this sky will change whether we know it yet or not.

Like a memory linked to a smell or a song, a cloudless Seattle day in autumn will forever give me pause; darkness disguised as light.


3 thoughts on “The Ominous Seattle Sun Strikes Again

  1. Clear blue skies and sunshine, unfortunately, can’t change the reality of situations or circumstances. Life is a journey. It’s a learning process. The world changes all the time.

    New Mexico had a record breaking October, and now a November. I recall 18 years ago it seemed like Heaven to me. This weather and beauty was exactly what I was looking for. Over the years, however, the blue skies became very dark and I understood what monsoons were.

    I’m still puzzled from November 8, 2016. It left me wondering why people are the way they are. I sit back and think to myself “You just gotta keep going.” “You’re here for a reason; some purpose.” I’m still not clear what that purpose is. So, I take my life one day at a time and watch people and events unfold.

    I want to believe people care about one another and their environment. I’m not so sure though.

    I look up and am thankful for those blue skies and the sunshine. I’m thankful for the next morning and night. I’m feeling more confident in what will transpire for those days to come.

    I can only control my thoughts and feelings. Everything else is the way it’s supposed to be for now. It’s out of my control. I accept what I get because I’m tired of running. Life is good.


    1. Thanks for your comment, Wendy. Americans decided in huge numbers they could put aside the racist comments, sexist jokes, and climate change denial in favor of undefined change in undefined policy. Clearly, they want change. No one is throwing in the towel, we’re all still going. Urban and suburban areas felt the first trickle of campaign fallout Wednesday, whereas prominently white rural America (areas that voted him in droves) are less likely to see it yet. How did we feel it? Friends who are educators comforted numerous students in tears terrified they or someone they love will be deported. This didn’t come from the media or misinformation from a liberal think tank, this came from a candidates own stump speeches. These are stories from friends I know personally, who we share Saturday nights with and dropout kids off at their homes. This is real, in America, in 2016. And it’s not like the world hasn’t seen this before. I can’t in good conscience with a shred of honesty say life is good here. America is huge. Your experience is vastly different than mine. I think this flow chart of logic is interesting. Scroll down to where it starts, “Let’s say you want HBO.”


      1. I’m sorry things aren’t working out to your expectations. Mine either. It’s too bad Gary Johnson didn’t win!

        Take care, Wendy


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