I have lived on the west coast of Canada all my life and so I know rain. I mean I really know it. I can describe all the permutations—drizzle, sprinkle, shower, steady rain, downpour, torrent, monsoon, and my favourite one of all—Scotch mist.
What’s so Scotch about it? I’ve never been able to find out but I like it anyway. I imagine a Scotsman planted atop a misty mountaintop gesturing with airy unconcern.
Aye, it’s just a wee bit o’ the Scotch mist. Ye canna let that get up yur kilt lassie.
When you live on the west coast, you must learn to love the rain. If you do not, you will go mad. And even if you do, you might still go mad. That’s just the price we pay for silky blue mountains and green gardens all year round.
I think the best antidote for the rain is to go to a part of the world—like just about any other part of Canada—where it doesn’t rain all year long, but it does snow and it gets really cold. One thing you will notice the minute you step off the plane in February or March or November or all the months in between and sometimes even in May, is brown.
Acres and acres of brown. The grass is brown, the leafless trees are brown, the smears of dog dirt mixed in with the melting snow are brown, and very few evergreens rear their needles to relieve the brown monotony. At least here on the west coast, even the deepest, darkest day in January still sports enough green to festoon a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
So rain isn’t all bad. Not by a long shot. The rain brings the green and come May we see the benefits. Suddenly, almost overnight, the gardens and public byways of Vancouver and environs burst forth into a riot of blossoms that is really almost embarrassing. I mean do azaleas need to be quite so pink? The tulips so varied? The rhodos so, well, big?
The whole world is so fecund it feels like we’re living in a brothel.
And all because of the rain.