Raincouver, Raincity, the wet-coast . . .
Anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with Vancouver knows about the rain. Vancouverites have a weird kind of pride about it that you can’t really understand until you’ve lived here. A smugness. We may be floating away, but at least its not snow. We embrace it to the point that the fashionistas downtown on Robson are just as likely to be wearing designer gum boots as designer heels.
There are periods of time in the fall, November in particular, where we can go for weeks without it letting up. I mean weeks. The sun will come out for one day and then not seen again for weeks more. And I’m not talking about showers. We’re talking bring down the roof, raining cats and dogs, full on downpour. Most days I’m just thankful (and surprised) that I don’t have webbed toes.
And yet – here we are, late-June and virtually no rain. It hasn’t rained proper since May 25. One pitiful sun shower. That’s it. The rain barrel on the side of the house has run dry.
The weatherman keeps teasing, promising rain that never comes. We take all that rain so for granted that we don’t have the good sense to crave it when we should. Our province is alight with forest-fires, the soil dry and dusty. My friends and coworkers cross their fingers against the rainy forecast, while I am beginning to understand the origins of the rain dance; that desire to do something, anything, to beg the rains to come. The garden aches for it, and strangely (or not so strange?) so do I. How can we be so disconnected from such a basic need?
We have forgotten what it is to be thirsty.