Where I come from there are forty different ways to describe rain. There are ways to describe the size of the rain drops. Different methods to describe the rain’s velocity. It’s direction. It can rain and have blue sky at the same time. But that’s extremely rare and blue skies are usually only reserved for a few weeks in August when locals can reliably plan outdoor events that don’t involve rain tents.
I own more than one umbrella. One is always in my car…year round. I own three different kinds of waterproof coats and lately I’ve been thinking that I need a pair of rain pants for walking my dog. The last time I owned rain pants I was four years old and living on the Canadian prairie. My mother dressed me in these heavy, rubberized rain pants with elasticized waist and cuffs when the snow finally started to melt in April and I wanted to go do kid things like sit in rain and melted snow puddles. I can still remember what those pants felt like (it’s wasn’t good) so to contemplate rain pants again in my life means the rain in my part of the world is very serious…very serious indeed.
In the rain forest I live in -on the side of a mountain-, there are many, many months of the year when me and my friends and neighbors can discuss the weather. That’s ‘cause we have it. We have weather. Weather changes every day pretty much, and it fits into almost any conversation. I think perhaps visitors to our part of the world feel verbally challenged when it comes to this part of the conversation. To my relatives from Saskatchewan, rain is just rain. It’s only part of their blizzard to simmering desert-like heat weather repertoire. But for us on the west coast, rain exists in every month and we have vast quantities of verbiage to describe its qualities. From September to May and in some noteworthy years…from August until July.
But we don’t love the rain. It does get repetitive. And so us rain forest dwellers migrate if we can. And we tend to do this around our children’s school holidays. Prime among them…Spring Break! Which, for the uninitiated, is now.
Barra Di Navidad, Mexico. I’d never heard of it, but now here I am for two weeks. There’s no weather here. There’s sun. The temperature fluctuates between 86 and 89 degrees F. and there’s a breeze. It gathers velocity as the day goes on which is lucky since we seem to need it. Back home in the rain forest it’s about 55. So it’s an adjustment being here.
The breeze rattles the palm tree fronds and makes me look up almost every time. It sounds like the rain on my roof at home and I instinctively react to the sound, surprised that it’s raining in Mexico? Oh… no…its not. My brain is being retrained in how it makes sense of sound.
My thirteen year old daughter, who, really, in the grand scheme of things, knows very little to nothing about stress, floats beside me in the pretty pool that came with the 3000 square foot house we rented, saying “Oh boy, I needed this! That budget project was brutal!” (referring to her homework load prior to our departure) At this point we are like mushrooms who have been dwelling in the moist and dark forest floor and blink our eyes constantly at the bright Mexican sun with its natural vitamin D that we don’t have to take as vitamin supplements for in our native, damp habitat.