1.the tenth month of the year, containing 31 days; many of which may be overcast and present signs of the impending 7 months of rain thus causing every level headed Vancouverite to be engulfed in hyperbolic throws of seasonal affective disorder.
Vancouverites never cease to amaze me at their almost flippant regard to our weather. Throughout the winter months, we bundle ourselves up in our expansive array of semi-duty waterproof gear and tell whimsical stories to our out of town guest about the glory of Vancouver in the summer. Come Spring, we rant and plea with mother nature to give us a glimsp of the end of the rainy season through endless conversations about “how last year’s” summer was arguably less stubborn. Then in our brief but beautiful 10 weeks of summer, we kick off our rain gear and run amuck in the streets, parks and beaches until that inevitable day in October when the weather begins to switch and the ENTIRE city is in need of a ice cream guzzling, disheveled hair, couch lounging and rom-com movie sort of personal day.
I’ve never understood why the weather in this city seems to constantly surprise its inhabitants. Yes – it rains in Vancouver. And yes – it can seem relentless at times. But this should come as NO surprise to anyone who chose to make Vancouver their home. We cannot HIDE the fact that we experience 7+ rainy months in a year and so, why when the days get cooler and the rain clouds come rolling in why do we feel the need to have a collective hissy fit? Every time I hear someone I know to be a true blue Vancouverite go on about their surprise and dismay at our rainy weather I have a feeling of overwhelming disappointment that I do not possess the genetic ability to raise one eyebrow.
I don’t particularly mind the rain. Now, I know what you’re thinking – ah she’s one of those perky, little hippie love children who puddle hop in their ironically childish printed galoshes. Not the case. I have lost many a good shoe to our damp weather and deep in the throws of December, wish for white, or frost, or ANYTHING but the unrelenting downpour like the rest of us. But after 14+ years in this city, I have learned to appreciate the rainy weather for what it brings us – green.
Year round green. Cherry blossoms in february green. Realizing that you don’t have to know jack all to garden in this city green.
Do you know what a city without green looks like?
Edmonton…Where beige goes to die.
There is a reason Edmonton has such a thriving art community – everyone who lives there HAS to put their minds towards making something beautiful because outside THEIR windows is stone, brown and grey. Year bloody round. (No offence to Edmontonians. I’m sure there are some very nice pubs and such.)
So call me crazy but though I enjoy our wee summer, I also embrace our longer, wetter winter months for the flowers it puts in my neighbours gardens and the trees I pass on my way to work. For that moment of standing in downtown drizzle knowing that snow is on the mountains and that cherry blossoms are still (and seemingly always) JUST around the corner.
We are Vancouverites. We are coastal dwellers. And we will get wet. And sometimes, it’s not easy being green.
So this week’s mission is an ode to the true blue Vancouverites – because though we may be damp – our hair will never dry out, our cars will never need cleaning and our ironically childish printed galoshes will go on sale at Army and Navy by October. And with our soggy shoes and damp hair and shiny cars we will solidarly nod to each other when our umbrellas crash together on the sidewalk or while we create puddles beneath our feet while waiting for our $5 lattes.
Because we are in this together.
And everything is going to be ok.
The Mission: I took a trek down to the local dollar store and picked up ten of the perkiest umbrellas I could find, wrote a little inspirational note to to my ten future water logged strangers and will be handing them off to my coffee house cohorts in crime this week to give out to those who are left high and not so dry on our next rainy day.
Total Cost: $20.
Scene of the Crime: Three of my favourite coffee haunts are holding the umbrellas to give out to strangers.
Spontaneous Stranger Smiles Gained: Fingers crossed for all ten. Plus 3 bemused baristas.
Bonus Points: I learned that you can buy adorably cheerful umbrellas for $2. I bought 7 for myself in various colours. I just took coordinating outfits to a whole new level.