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Whether the weather be sunny or rainy

July 23, 2009

Today was long. It was surprisingly cold for July, and though the sun’s rays eventually burst through the clouds they didn’t burst with very much oomph… more like trickled. Completely unlike the day before, when the sun shone so bright my sunglasses were barely enough to hold it back. The weather forecast says the sun is supposed to come back for the weekend, which is a blessing I suppose.  Though perhaps this cloudy cold day has been one too.

I always find it so hard to think about blessings when it’s cloudy. Where I grew up, it may be -40 Celsius half the year but it’s sunny, doubly so because it reflects off the white snow that covers everything. When I moved to the lower mainland the hardest thing I had to deal with was the rain and the gray and how constant and unchanging it is. From November to March, that’s all you get – gray. So when the sun comes out, even just a little bit, the whole city seems to light up. People smile more, laugh more, walk with a bit more bounce in their step. Sunlight is precious during winter.

In summer, it’s the opposite.

When I first moved here I asked one of my classmates, “when does it start snowing?” They laughed at me and explained that normally, it doesn’t. So I responded – “when does the grass turn brown then?” “In summer.” They thought I was crazy and I thought they were. Grass, brown in summer, who would have thought! But in fact that is exactly what happens here. In winter it rains so much that everything is green and lush, and in summer the heat is so dry and unbearable that everything dies. It’s like time is reversed and not what one would expect.

Because of the consistency of weather in Vancouver, and how little it tends to change during the seperate seasons, people tend to get accustomed to it and to pay less attention. When you’ve had sun and heat for a month on end, another day of sun doesn’t seem so big a deal. A day of rain however, is like a breath of fresh air. It’s as if the whole city seems to say “Finally! Something different!”

But, when you think about it, why do we need to have too much of something to be able to appreciate something else? Why must there be so many days of sun before we can appreciate the rain, and vice versa? Is it so hard for humanity (myself included) to appreciate each day, separate from every other day?


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