The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle, and the hills the greenest green…Perry Como, 1969, Seattle*
It’s been a year since we left Montana and moved to Seattle. Everything is different here, including the sky. Our Idaho-born neighbor told us that the trouble with Montana was, “The sky’s too big.” The sky in Seattle may not be vast like it is in “Big Sky” country, but as Perry Como sang… Seattle has the bluest skies you’ve ever seen.
The changing panorama of clouds reflect Seattle’s essence: water. The city is surrounded on three sides by water, comprising 41% of its total area. Along Seattle’s northwestern coast is the Puget Sound (Native name Lushootseed). The city is divided in half by the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which connects Lake Washington (one mile from our apartment, as the crow flies) to the Sound.
The southern half of Seattle is divided by the Duwamish, Seattle’s largest river, which empties into Elliott Bay, home to the Port of Seattle. Water, water, evaporating everywhere, into the air. What goes up, must come down. Storm clouds roil up blue skies into every shade of black, white, silver and grey; streaks of lightning; sun breaks and rainbows. Seattle averages 38 inches of rainfall each year… and the hills the greenest green. They don’t call Seattle the Emerald City for nothing.
I will tell you a secret about Seattle that mystifies me. Everybody knows it rains here, but do you know it rains pennies from heaven? I have found 457 pennies on the street (another just today) while walking Sonny Bone’O. What a lucky place this must be!
Some of the pennies are rusted or green with copper mold. Among all the Lincolns, I found a Queen Elizabeth, Canadian, dated 1968. The new ones are shiny, not worth what it costs to make them, but a sheer delight to me. After several days finding not even one, I sang to Sonny Bone’O, “Where have all the pennies gone?” When I looked down, there was a nickel. It’s magic! I have also found 5 dimes, but the pennies please me most.
My apartment neighbor, Maria Ayanna, put pennies she found on my doorstep. “These belong to Janis,” she said. All the coins, including a quarter Bruce found downtown, go into a crystal bowl in our den right next to the carved Buddha. In Galisteo, New Mexico, after heavy rains, centuries-old pottery shards popped right out of the ground to amaze me. In Seattle, the gods are throwing money at me. Bruce says if I keep this up, he can retire.
Full of hopes and full of fears/Full of laughter, full of tears
Full of dreams to last the years, in Seattle!
*Seattle–Lyrics Jack Keller and Ernie Sheldon
composed by Hugo Montenegro
© Janis Monaco Clark