Blame everything on the weather!



Streaks of clouds in pre-sunset peach and charcoal-purple cut through a cerulean sky. The weather is changing. There’s been intermittent light rain interspersed with brief sunny breaks through much of the past few days, but flurries are in today’s forecast.

I don’t fuss over the weather. There’s a saying here on the west coast, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Some folks also say, “If you can’t see the mountains, it’s raining. If you can, it’s going to rain.” The more optimistic of us point to how green everything is, thanks to the rain.


My mood isn’t affected, whatever the colour of the sky. There are people whose mood is, and some who even experience S.A.D. — Seasonal Affective Disorder — during low light seasons. I tend to forget that it’s a very real, clinical disorder, and I can sometimes be insensitive to those who complain about the weather, or display negativity, discouragement and depression because of it.

During November’s NaNoWriMo my project was to rewrite the ending of a recently completed manuscript. As I rushed headlong through the words, instead of resolving my protagonist’s dilemmas, I ended up heaping more upon her. Nothing seems to go right for her, and I’ve realized a lot of the time it’s because of her negative perspective. The story happens between November and February. I’m beginning to wonder if she has S.A.D. That would explain a lot, but it complicates the plot.

The story is taking off in a direction I didn’t intend, and I’m not sure I like this feeling of losing control.

If you’re a writer, are you always in control of your story and its characters? What happens when your control slips away?

~  ~  ~

A Sunday Afternoon Meander

Beyond the brambles a creek runs shadowed. Overhung by hemlock, cedar and fir, and bordered by rocks buried in moss, it trickles a boundary between our property and the neighbour’s. In summer it’s almost non-existent, but now, filled by days of rain, it tumbles its way down shallow slopes to reach the marsh.

Rain spatters circles into its surface and glosses nearby ferns. The ground squishes under foot as I pause at water’s edge to click pictures.

Who in their right mind wanders around in the rain with a camera and no umbrella? Perhaps I’ve never had a right mind, but I like the freshness of rain-washed air on an almost-spring day. I couldn’t resist as the soggy Sunday afternoon beckoned me into it.

The breeze and dripping trees fling chilled drops into my face and down my neck. Too soon I am chased back where there is warmth and dryness, and I return to my writing.


“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
[John 7:37b-38 – NIV]  


A Wet Welcome to Fall


Rain spills from the sky, sloshing down my windows, washing away last month’s accumulation of dust, and puddling on the abandoned patio table. Trees reflect on the water-slickened deck, while tiny droplets hover on the edge of the eaves, swelling until they suddenly drip into oblivion.

Elsewhere leaves are watered off limbs and into the grass, scattering amber and gold and brown.

This is a time of melding. There is resignation contained in the day, regret for summer’s end. But there is rejuvenation, too. A new season begins… the one promised three weeks ago when we began returning to fall routines. I like a lot of fall’s promises: the visual echo of colours edged with crispness, the silence of sung-out robins replaced with honking geese, the coziness of feathery duvets shaken from closets.

There is a spillover into my writing – a fresh energy to accompany new words. Do you feel it, too?


The Scent and Sound of Rain

Rain arrived at dawn, vying with the light for dominance on this last workday of the week. It plummeted out of the greyness, splatting on the deck and flattening flowers.


I know I’m an oddity, but I like rain. I like watching it, listening to it, even walking in it. Maybe it has something to do with having lived so much of my life within scenting distance of the ocean and its wind-borne mist.


There’s nothing to equal the freshness of rain-washed air. This first morning of August is off to a great start.


There’s just no pleasing everyone…

It’s raining. You wouldn’t think there’s anything too significant in that fact. This is coastal British Columbia after all. But this is the first drop of moisture we’ve had in more than three weeks. In fact, weather records show there’s been only .6 mm of precipitation here in the last seven weeks. And that is significant.


Last year we had 80 mm of rain in June and 53 mm in July. Go back another year to 2006 and there were 54 mm in June and 25 mm in July. So a mere half millimetre is just a drop in the bucket, figuratively speaking. Thirsty gardens are loving today’s drink. Cranky people are not.

“All the sunshine we’ve had, and the one day I decide to invite friends over for a barbeque, it rains. Stupid weather!”


There’s just no pleasing everyone.