Welcome to Mexico!

By Victoria Schmidt

The rains, they will come

 

The rain birds are singing! It is first sign that the long dry season is about to end. We watch the sky and wonder how soon the rains will come to relieve us from the heat and the dust. There have been thunder and lightening at night in the distances…all positive signs that the rains will soon be here.

The rainy season is the most favored time of year in Mexico. When the skies finally open up, with one bountiful rain they paint green the dry grass and brush. The trees spring back to their vibrant colors, and the constant layer of dry dust is tamped back down into the earth.

My first rainy season in Mexico, we were treated to rains during most nights. The sun would rise, and the clouds would disappear and we would have a brilliant day. Then, in the late afternoon the clouds would return, and the rains would come again in the evening. I liked the rhythm of the day.

A pre-season ritual among many in Mexico are the friendly wagers people place as to the date of the first rain. Rules are established as to what constitutes “rain.” Is it a sprinkle; a quick downpour; a gutter-to-gutter rainfall that swamps the streets? These are important distinctions to those who wager on the date of the first rain. People can quote you the day the rains came last year, and the year before. I am surprised that a fiesta in honor of the rains is not among the lengthy list of Mexican celebrations. Last year, I celebrated in the rain outdoors in my nightgown. The rain was a cool shower after a long spell of blistering heat.

Some people love to listen to the rain, while others delight in the sound of the rolling and clapping thunder. Others love the results of the rain and the lower temperatures, while others relish the entire experience.

Speculation about when the rains will begin dominates many conversations at this time of year. People have their favorite ways of predicting when the rains will come. Some look for signs in nature: the singing of the rain birds, or lightning in the night sky. Others watch the rise in the humidity along with the higher temperatures. And then there are those who rely on the changes they feel deep in their joints. Personally, I don’t have a system. I suffer through those last hot days, looking towards the skies begging for relief. When people ask me when I think the rains will come, my usual response is “Not soon enough!”

Of course, during rainy season, we may experience those small nuisances that the rain brings about. The dog’s muddy paws and the mud we track into our homes, or the leaking windows, roofs, or copulas. At our house, our telephone goes out every time it rains, much to the dismay of the technician who only manages to try to track down the problem on dry days. We all lose our electric a little more often, and those of us with satellite television service experience disrupted service. And who can forget those rivers in the street just after a downpour and the puddles that remain? We all hope for the level of the lake to rise all the while we hope that there is no flooding. But these are mostly minor inconveniences we experience in return for the luscious green vegetation, the crisp clean air, the bountiful harvests and the beautiful gardens.

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