Come November, it can get a little gloomy here in Portland. It’s dark when I leave my house for work in the morning; it’s dark when I leave work for home. For the last few rainy days, even in the height of afternoon it never actually felt like the sun rose at all. The skies open up in crazy downpours. The once-beautiful fall leaves slick-carpet the roads and clog the gutters; the trees are bare. The recent nice weather of fall is close enough still in memory to serve as a stark contrast to the sometimes-crappiness of the present.
When you’re sitting inside looking out it always looks rough, but the gloomiest of weather is kind of the best for running (or walking:). If you can just muster the gumption to throw yourself out there, it turns out there’s so much to love about what seems, from inside, like the worst of all possible times.
There’s a peacefulness in the air that I have a really hard time describing but that just feels quiet, the birds more apparent and the other noises less. There’s the sound of rain — which any good Pacific Northwesterner will tell you is intensely different depending on how hard it’s falling, what it’s falling on, how the wind blows it, what you’re doing in it, and twenty bazillion other factors that you could spend a lifetime getting to know. There’s the feel of clean mist on your eyelashes and cool air in your lungs. The moon that every so often peeks through the clouds, stately and dramatic. The fact that other people are shuttered inside and it feels for precious moments at a time that you have the whole city to yourself. The squelchy sounds of your feet on trails, echoing in that winter quiet I can’t describe.
It’s running weather, and I love it!