Growing up in a tropical, always-sunny place, I recall waking up feeling refreshed on mornings when it had rained overnight. I remember we had this medium-sized tank, made out of melted rubber tires, in one of the corners of our house. My mother placed it directly under a gutter drain so it would catch all that rain water. We saved it for the non-rainy days. I loved it when the tank was full. Somehow the water in the tank was always ice-cold, even on a sunny day.
I remember, I really liked it when the plant leaves were wet. I remember how excited I was when we first bought a garden hose, after the Water District finally was able to connect us to the water system (faucets and such). I used to like watering plants using the hose, sprinkling – more like spraying – water over the leaves after a long hot sunny day, and imagining that I was in a place where it rained all the time and the climate wasn’t so warm.
I remember looking at pictures of magazines my father bought from Australia. There’s this one particular photo of an old train traveling along what seemed to be a forest full of ferns and pine trees. I liked ferns – they reminded me of Makilala, you know, where it’s usually milder if not colder. I imagined what it would be like to live in a place where there are lots of ferns, and pine trees, and where it rained all the time.
And now I live here.
This place is the exact opposite of where I grew up. Here, it is raining all the time. It’s dark and gloomy everyday. When we do get a short break, it’s either snowing or too warm depending on which season we are talking about. But to be honest, I may have already lived here long enough to get used to the fact that when I wake up in the morning, 9 times out of 10, it is probably raining, or the rain has just stopped. I don’t feel refreshed anymore. But at the same time, if I woke up and it wasn’t raining or it didn’t rain, it also doesn’t feel normal.
This morning, I woke up at 9 and it was pouring outside. My mother just made pancakes for breakfast, and my father just finished boiling some hot cocoa (as in the tablea kind / cacao pasalubong from Pinas). Kulang na lang hot champorado and that scenario would’ve instantly taken me back to 20 years ago, to the house I grew up in. Only this time, I didn’t have to wish for rain.
I don’t like to go out on a day off, but I think how I woke up this morning determined how I was going to feel about this rainy day. I had to drive to North Vancouver, an hour from home, and on the way there, I couldn’t help but notice the pine trees and ferns along the high way… And when I got to the coffee shop where I was meeting a friend, I went online and thought about blogging. But instead, I just stared at the glass window.
I suppose my feelings about rainy days haven’t changed, after all these years.