Real Islanders don’t avoid the rain.
Most of us don’t even check the weather forecast before going out for the day in the fall, because the weather is the same here nearly every day; Sunny with cloudy periods, chance of rain, possibility of showers, with a 75% likelihood that the weather forecast will be completely wrong. But you can be sure, at some point during the day it will rain. Plans aren’t changed due to the weather forecast, or even postponed, because it’ll probably be raining harder later. No need to bring a second jacket, because you wear your rain jacket every day. If you’re waiting on dependable weather in Victoria to do anything outside, you’ll be waiting till June. They told us one day in elementary school that if it was raining we weren’t allowed to play outside - Parents wrote letters, we played in the rain the next week.
I’ve lived all my life in Victoria, and never once have I purchased an umbrella. Look around the streets downtown during a rainy day and you will notice that most people will substitute a toque or hat for an umbrella. You can’t hide from reality, and the reality of Vancouver Island is that from October to May it’s wet…. Pretty much all the time. And if it’s not wet, things only just dried out yesterday. It’s not always raining, but the moisture hangs in the air, and fog encircles us as if it were the edge of our snow-globe. An umbrella will not keep you dry on Vancouver Island... Just buy a jacket.
We don’t hide from the rain, we embrace it. Our ecosystem is dependant on the rain to sustain it, and as humans we are equally dependant on that water to survive. Perhaps that is what we are connecting with when a walk in the rain can wash away our worries; the unspoken bond with nature around us, that reminds us we are so much the same and rely on the same resources to survive as the natural world around us. We live in a rain forest. All summer long, through the long dry sunny days, our ecosystem is stressed. Humans live the high-life swimming, camping, sun tanning, growing our gardens, while the forests wait with baited breath for the first rains of fall. I always feel a sense of comfort as we transition into fall, as the bright green colours return to the ferns and mosses, the creeks and rivers fill, and the salmon return to spawn. When the ecosystem around us is sustained, and well balanced, we too will feel the same.
Real Islanders need rain to survive.