I was sitting outside at home on our porch. We live in Windwardside, one of the four villages on our rock. Obviously, it’s the windy side of the island. It was the last Friday of the summer break; on Monday I would have to start teaching again. I was both looking forward to getting back in the saddle and anxious about saying goodbye to the summer break. I also was going to have to say goodbye to spending so much time with my twins again, but today that honestly didn’t feel so much like a sacrifice; today was a Let’s-throw-all-the-food-on-the-floor kind of day.
It was also a windy day. To be clear, on the mainland this would be called a stormy day but here, standards change. It’s hurricane season and we hardly bat an eyelash when shutters are banging, entire trees are shaking like a polaroid picture, or when laundry doesn’t ever dry despite the wind. Tropical storm (“TS” for insiders) Harvey was passing just south of us and two more systems were coming our way. I was glad we were done with the stifling hot, windless weather hurricane season has to offer as well, however pretty the flat ocean can be when her soulful nature seems to have gone away on holiday. Now, at least we could watch the rainclouds roaming the ocean and see the sheets of rain moving. I refuse to get used to that spectacular sight. Sometimes, there’ll even be rainbows.
Out on our covered porch, my one-year-olds were throwing around peas and crackers with salmon spread. I was trying hard not to let eating turn into a battle, when I looked up and all of a sudden noticed that the horizon had vanished; I could now see as far as only one eighth of what I can usually see. Beyond that, there was just an eerie, white, ominously all-consuming mist. And it was closing in rapidly.
The mist was preceded by gusts of wind that made food containers flutter and sent crackers a-flying. I had one of two options: close all the doors and windows, move inside with the kids, and continue feeding them there (which also would mean cleaning the floors afterwards of moist salmon-y lumps and ants), or we could ride this one out outside, not knowing how wet and cold we were going to end up. Neither option had my preference really, as this looked like a serious amount of heavenly water.
I looked at my kids. They were looking at the wind. They were watching as the slivers of the cloud enveloped the island. They were watching as the fog’s fingers coiled themselves around palm trees and cottages. They were watching a whole village being consumed by the mist. And they were eating. Boy, were they eating. The display was so distracting that they were eating ALL the peas and crackers. I felt the temperature drop and I could hear the wave of rain approaching, but I didn’t care. We were going to ride this one out outside.
Together, we watched the skies darken and the rains sweep in. The kids were absolutely thrilled. They were animatedly pointing and smiling and babbling. And eating!
After five minutes, the sheets of rain had already travelled over the crest of the hill, and as the last fingers of the clouds floated on by leaving this side of our rock cleansed and fresh, I looked at my kids and their empty tables and remembered something. I remembered that it’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
If two one-year old island babes could teach me that, perhaps I had better listen.
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** This post was written just before Hurricanes Irma and Maria and had to be delayed in publishing, but we thought you’d still enjoy the message, so we’re sharing it now. **