BY DAVID PAGNI
Since arriving in Vancouver in January, we have soldiered through the bleak, rain soaked months, awaiting the sun of summer. Tic toc, tic toc, here it is the end of June and we’re still pacing the apartment, peering through the blinds and waiting. After living in Portland for sixteen years, another green (read: mossy) environment, moving to “Rain City” has supplied no great uptick to our vitamin D intake. We’ve had just enough “sun breaks” in Vancouver’s procession of rainy or gloomy days to keep us from deep depression, but waiting for the sun has been as preoccupying as counting the days until getting a new puppy.
We are not alone. It seems the entire population here is spring-loaded, ready to throw itself outdoors at the first rays of sunshine. Since about June 1st, sandals, shorts and t-shirts have been the street dress code, despite the glowering clouds, pattering of rain, and temperatures in the 50’s (10-16 C.) Vancouverites seem to be group-willing the sun to shine.
On the rare days we’ve actually see the yellow orb in the sky, I’m convinced there have been several eye injuries, as people stand stupefied, staring skyward. Literally within seconds of the first rays, the bicycling population quadruples, strollers choke the sea-walk along Stanley Park and Burrard Inlet, and the beaches explode in a colorful display of bikinis, muscly guys, and all number of euphoric men women and children playing volleyball, building sand castles, throwing balls to dogs and otherwise amusing themselves in utter appreciation for the sun. Business pow-wows move from board rooms to outdoor coffee shops. Gyms empty. Having a “sleeve” of microbrew at a street-side pub seems a brilliant idea.
Smiles abound. Moods lighten. The apartment elevator hums with residents carrying beach bags, sporting bike gear, or hustling their toddlers out to play catch. On these golden sunshine days, Vancouver seems to almost levitate with activity that exposes as much skin to the sun as possible.
So, even on late-June and early-July cloudy days, I’ll be out walking our dog, just hoping the overcast gives way to sunshine so I won’t miss a second of it. Vancouverites seem definitely to be creatures of the sun.