Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sick for Spring

I was driving home from work the other day, trying to put my finger on something. It was bugging me so much, and this has come up before: sometimes there is something about the day, or maybe the sky, that makes me feel like I'm in Oregon. But what is it?

It has something to do with the cloud cover, and the look of the grass. Maybe part of it is because it's been so cold and snowy, and then finally it warmed up enough for the snow to melt, so I was seeing the grass for the first time in weeks? I don't know, but I felt so homesick I wanted to cry. So I spent the rest of the drive home looking at everything and trying to pinpoint what it is I'm noticing.

I think it's the sky and cloud cover.

The clouds were covering the entire sky, but weren't the thick cloud cover that you get so much in Oregon. You know, those clouds that are black and dark and layers upon layers deep? Those dark clouds scream Oregon, of course, but every once in a while in Oregon after we've had day after day after day of thick, depressing clouds, a day will pop up where the clouds are a little bit thinner. They almost look like cotton candy, except right near the horizon you can actually see the sky. It was about 5:00 when I was driving home, the sun was on it's way down, but you could see pink all along the horizon. And it was still daylight, or at least dusk.

And all across the sky full of those cotton candy clouds, there were random places where the clouds were so thin that you could almost--almost!--see the blue.

I think that's all that it was that made me so homesick . . . when those Hint of Blue days pop up in Oregon, everyone starts getting Spring Fever. It rains so much more there, when Oregon finally gets a little tease of blue it's a big deal. And usually, when that wonderful day comes, it's the herald of Spring. Unlike here in Ohio . . . we could still have two more months of winter! I don't think I'll ever get used to potentially having snow in April.

I read a phrase in one of Diana Gabaldon's books (I forget which of the Outlander series, but I'm trying to appropriately credit my source here, so give me a break). It kept popping up in my head on this drive home when I was trying to figure out why I was so homesick. The character in the book was homesick, and talking about the scenery. I don't recall exactly what the character was looking at--good grief does it even matter to anyone but me?--but I think it was the green hillside or something, and the line was something like, "[Seeing the hills] makes me sick for Scotland." It was the sick for Scotland part that kept rolling around in my little brain (and I know I have that right, Diana!). I just love the simplicity of that line, and I so wanted to make it apply it to me. But the alliteration is what makes it work so well: sick for Oregon just doesn't sound the same. And unfortunately using Oregon is the only way it works for me: to say I'm sick for some-city-that-starts-with-an-S just doesn't encompass my feelings. I thought about it all the rest of the way home, and I never could quite get it right. But, if you'll note the title of this post, I did my best.

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