My dad, who lived in Seattle for a few years before moving back east, emailed me recently to tell me the French have a word for Seattle winter: la grisouille, the chilly damp darkness that seems to go on forever. Okay, actually it's a word for Paris winter, but we have a lot in common, with the high latitude and large water body to the west affecting the local climate. We are deep in la grisouille right now, though I at least take a late enough train that the sun is up (somewhere behind the clouds) before I leave the house. This morning, the storm was over and the weather was clear enough for the crows to be commuting at the same time I was—there's a substantial crow population that roosts down in Renton and flies into Seattle in the mornings to do their daily scavenging, just like people. I find them so charming every time my schedule matches up with theirs.
And of course we're almost to the turning point already, the hinge where the dark stops getting darker and the sun is reborn. I'm going to make it. This winter, like all the winters before it, won't undo me. I'll see la grisouille melt, the first daffodils pushing their way up through the earth, the first buds turning to blossoms on trees. The wheel turns. We're headed that way soon.