The biggest presence in my life right now is snow. This is old news, and uneventful news for most of the country, but it’s been snowing in Seattle for the last couple of weeks. I’ve barely left my apartment except to hunker down in other people’s homes. My neighborhood is a huge shellack of heavy, continuously freezing and thawing slush. I know this sounds extreme, but the truth is, several times I have caught myself confused about where I am in the universe. I feel like I’ve gone back to Minnesota winter in a dizzying swoop. I feel the malaise sink in, the dread of the next several months of trudging through this half-water, half-ice nature dump. I feel the anxiety of life unlived, appointments canceled, obligations unmet, because the minutia of travel is just too difficult. The feeling is low-grade suffocating.

Two very wonderful, snow-related feelings have also surfaced. During the first snow storm of three, (depending on which weather forecast you look at), I experienced overwhelming childlike wonder and peace. I went outside with my dog and tromped around the back parking lot of my building. I baked a cake and made soup. I drank warm things like they were a life line. I conjured snow days of my past. I didn’t feel guilty for doing nothing for two days, and I only felt a bit stir-crazy.

As the stir-craziness became less easy to ignore, the other wonderful realization occurred. I was able to re-remind myself of why I moved from Minneapolis in the first place. Besides simply wanting a new adventure, I moved because I no longer wanted to be inhibited by snow for months on end. There are a lot of ways my life is inhibited, and I was no longer interested in snow and ice and cold being on that list. That particular inhibition was something I could control, and while it pained me to leave behind all the things and people I adore in the Midwest, living in a place with (almost) no snow has been very freeing for me. I know I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life, but this is one decision I’ve made that I am happy with, and I was able to see that reenforced during this atypically snowy Seattle February.

Hopefully, this will only be an every-few-years thing, and I can continue having a much improved, more appreciative relationship with snow. As for right now, though, I’m over it. It’s time for Seattle to melt.

To me, there is something a little wild about Seattle. I think it might be the green, the smell of growing things in every breeze and, just under that, the damp-soil scent of where they grow. I often walk under hanging branches whose leaves, usually on the dripping side of wet, plaster themselves against my head, caressing me in a manner that is far from tender but still surprising and enjoyable. Even in January, plants grew. Ugly or pretty, welcome or a nuisance, they kept growing. They reached out to snag me on every sidewalk. They flourished in the full, heavy pots outside of every coffee shop. Bees buzzed past my ears in March, looking for flowers. Finding them. So strange when before, my Marches were all snow and brown grass.

Now it is May, and every time I walk outside into cut-glass sunlight or a Lord of the Rings mist, I think of the plants and people all around me, putting down roots, poking tentative heads out of yielding ground, bolting, running, scattering seeds. Restful and restless, the way I’ve always been and will likely always be.

I am a city dweller at my core. I spend a second daydreaming about hiking through woods completely alien to me, and then I go hang out at Cafe Vita for 5 hours instead, chasing my dreams with espresso. Last Saturday, a seagull pooped on my shoulder on 15th Avenue. That’s the closest to wildlife I’ve come in quite a while.

Still, I plant herbs and green things near the tall, ridiculously sunlit-for-Seattle windows of my apartment. I think about the seeds burrowing and getting ready, adjusting and preparing, drinking, absorbing. Stretching. When they emerge, bushy and bitter, shy and sweet, I feel like we both accomplished something. Tiny, but triumphant.