Sunday, 12 July 2015

Let the Rains Begin!

Given I reside on an island that is classified to be within a "temperate rainforest" in general terms seldom is water in short supply due to lack of rainfall a pressing issue. However, an atypically reduced precipitation last winter (and spring) which has extended into the early summer has the region becoming significantly dry. There are wildfires burning on the island and the interior of the province.

Yesterday saw the return of the first "rainfall" in quite sometime; though overall it didn't really amount to much. Just the same it was helpful to those fighting the fires and a refreshing respite from the muggy temperatures and what I was beginning to perceive as the relentless sun. My preference for weather conditions doesn't align with that of many. While I enjoy a "bright sunny day" - I am quite comfortable and contented in temperatures between 20 - 25 degrees Celsius. I don't like to lie in the sun - to me it's just hot and boring. When the temperature climbs above that range (if I must be outside, I am grateful for and seek shade). It seems to me to hear others speak, no matter how much sun light hours present, the claim is "we hardly had any warm weather."

I don't even get how people function in hotter climates - while others complain that "there is always a wind blowing" - I am happy to feel the breeze. I'm not convinced of the allure to various regions of the world that remain hot even through the night. Those few days we might get in a typical summer where the breeze is hot during the day and the temperature in the house never seems to fall at night are anything but comfortable let alone desirable. I do my best to accept "weather" along with the other circumstances surrounding my life - however, if asked, in the interest of authenticity, I'm happy to see the hotter days pass. Of course to express this invites admonishment from others as if my stating my preference will spell an end to balmy summer days.

I had intended to go to a local pool yesterday, which is an easy walk from my place. By the time I was ready to go, I looked out the window and it had begun to rain. It was a beautiful sight to see. At the same time I had to laugh at myself as thoughts went through my mind to abandon my resolve to get to the pool because of the necessity of walking in the rain. Heaven forbid I "get wet" before I go swimming. I quickly shook off these thoughts recognizing that somewhere within my programming there was likely such ideas as "get in out of the rain" and "good versus lousy weather" - perhaps, "oh of course it rains on my day off" or somehow determining if was somehow "better" to walk in the absence of rain.

How refreshing it was to feel the cool rain caressing my skin. Despite not having an acute sense of smell there was no mistaking the air was "fresher." It was interesting to hear others discussing the presence of rain while in the hot tub. One fellow was concerned about whether it would stop before he was to ride his bike home. Then he and another fellow upon hearing that is was "pouring" dashed to a doorway leading to a courtyard outside the pool area to assess for themselves. Another fellow in the swirl pool spoke to me in a thick Scottish accent and exclaimed incredulously, I'm from Scotland rainfall in any way, shape or form isn't something I'd run outdoors to witness." "You mean it's not a novelty," I replied tongue in cheek. "You got the right," he answered.

The other two returned to the hot tub and traded predictions regarding the likelihood of rain the following day. "Perhaps the whole weekend won't be ruined." Now, don't get me wrong, undeniably I have offered into the ether my fair share of drama - even still, this conversation was comical to me. I suppose I could see myself reflected (not so much about the weather - but no question I have allowed something or someone, to commandeer "my day.")

I went from the hot tub toward the steam room and sauna where I could see the courtyard and the continuing rainfall. There was fellow out side doing some katas, or perhaps tai chi, or Qi Gong sequences. I was totally inspired by that!! I went and sat in the sauna for awhile and then went out into the rainfall. What an amazing contrast - how cleansing that felt, I joined the trees in their welcoming gesture of outstretched limbs. I was reminded of a plant in my apartment that as I recall is called a "prayer plant" (I don't know what it's biological name is) it profoundly embodies it's needs with regard to water. It presents in a rather sad down-trodden fashion when experiencing a particular degree of dehydration. Once it is watered - it is almost as though you can see it rejoicing once again as all of it's limbs reach in the celebration of receiving. Maybe, just maybe, as I stood in the rain and felt the mix of appreciation, re-energizing and refreshment I was granted some insight into how my plant felt.

Between the return and dance with the rain and time spent in the pool, I became more in touch with the restorative qualities of the water element; reminding me of the need to balance the various elements. Too much fire and one burns up, too much earth and perhaps one is then too ensconced in the "material world" and without some mix of air (spirituality) the lack of "ethereal" connection might push one into a state of being of "no earthly good." (to self or others). Of course both air and water are literally life sustaining for our humanity. We are made of the same elements as the earth and do require some connection to the fire of the sun.

I have a song on my iPod that was off a cd recorded by a group in Africa. It was a celebratory song -"Rain, rain beautiful rain......" is sung in praise and exultation. These are people that know the extended ramifications of drought. Honouring, appreciation and thanks are expressed by many cultures when the rain returns.

I am grateful that my western world, privelidged white male mindset can and is being expanded.

Who knows one day you might just find me singing in the rain!?