I know it makes me sound a little nuts when I say this, but I love the rain. I get tired of it if it stays too long (who doesn’t!?), but that’s not typically a problem in Edmonton. It’s relatively dry here. We get threats of thunder storms most afternoons for the month of June, but, in general, it doesn’t rain that much here. Having grown up in a raining province (Nova Scotia, eh!), I find this odd and I think that it’s a big part of why I love the rain so much – I miss it.
I spent most of my life either in Halifax or at the family cottage on the north shore of NS. There would be weeks of rain at a time and when it said it was going to rain, it actually rained. Is the forecast calling for 30% chance of showers? Well, then it’s going to rain for 30% of the day. Is the forecast calling for heavy rain or warning of heavy rain fall? Better get out the freaking ark! In places like Halifax, it’s pretty standard to have multiple umbrellas (one at home, one at the office, one that fits in your purse or backpack). And, full body rain gear. And, you’d still be damp all the time.
At the cottage, we would listen to the rain hit the thin roof over the dining room (this is one of my all time favourite sounds!). We would run out and play on the beach or go swimming in the rain (unless there was lightning). We would get caught in rain so heavy it took 30 seconds or less to be completely soaked. And, then we’d have damp things hanging on every available surface.
In contrasts, here in Edmonton, if it calls for a 30% chance of showers … well, 30% of the city might possibly get a bit of a drizzle. When it really does rain, it often means that giant clouds are sweeping across the city, watering some neighborhoods, while missing others. I recently found myself walking in a good steady rain that abruptly ended when I came out the other end of a short section of covered sidewalk. I’ve seen it rain on one side of my apartment, but not on the other. This isn’t to say that we don’t get a good steady rain that covers the whole city. It happens, just not that often. The only reason I have those three aforementioned umbrellas is because I’m a Maritimer. And my rain coat? It was free and it’s easier when going for a hike in the rain.
After spending my first year in Edmonton, I went home for a visit and it rained one of the first nights I was back. I was surprised to find that the gentle, persistent thrum of rain on the window made me a bit emotional. I missed it. It’s crazy, but that thing that was always such an annoyance, that thing that made finding a mildew free apartment impossible, that thing that meant that it took 3 days for your hung clothes to dry, it was something that I missed.
I’m under no delusion that it wouldn’t make me crazy if I moved back to a rainy city (I think I would weep if I had to move somewhere as rainy and overcast as Vancouver), but, for now, at least, I have a new appreciation for the rain. And, I love a good walk in the rain … especially as it means getting the trails more or less to myself :)