Rain

For almost of my time here in Canada I have lived in apartments. In OZ, the closest I got to an apartment was when I shared a duplex with two women who were in a rather intense and unusual relationship – but that’s another story.

Apartment living is not for the faint of heart. If you’re unlucky enough to be somewhere in the middle of the building, you are surrounded by the sounds smells and energy of your neighbours.

If you are somewhere above the ground floor then you are also isolated from the immediacy of the outdoors. You can perhaps open your patio doors and smell the roses, or admire your hanging tomato plants. I’ve actually known some folk who manage to grow almost all their summer greens on their 9th floor patio.

Mrs Widdershins and I always had our trellises of scarlet runner beans, and managed to claim our share of bounty before the first frost hit.

I grew up in the wilds though. Where rain fell so hard that it hurt. Where drought ravaged the ancient land and left desiccated skeletons of animals and trees as its legacy. The Australian bush is scruffy, harsh edged and harbours nasty stinging and biting things, large and small, that can kill you in minutes.

An apartment in the city never quite won over my heart, even though I liked living there.

Now I live on an island in the middle of a lake! I step out my front door and am greeted by a sea of green – which reminds me, gotta cut the grass! – rather than going through several fire-doors and an elevator to get outside.

Our various rooms are at different ambient temperatures, depending on their use throughout the day, and I feel like I am participating in my home environment rather than having been another component of a closed-in and controlled climate.

I suppose that as Summer draws closer, more people will inhabit their seasonal abodes but right now, the quiet is blissful. Mind you, on our street there are two lads who are in bands, but they are respectful and only occasionally rehearse at home, and then it’s in the afternoon and/or early evening – très civilised!

Apart from feeling like it’s rained every day we’ve been here (not really but it feels like it) I find myself responding to the rain differently. It splashes over the ends of the gutters and falls like a curtain in front of my window. The ground squishes when I walk out to get the mail. (The asphalt pavements in Vancouver never squished)

The most wondrous thing I’ve noticed (or reconnected to) is how immediate this rain upon the Lake is. It begs to be responded to without the buffering of apartment walls, door, or neighbours.

I must put on my wellies and go splash in the puddles. Walk to the lakefront and watch the mist tumble down the mountain on the far shore, across the lake, and up the shore to where I stand, until nothing is left but a memory of Avalon

*

“Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain”Billie Holiday

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14 comments on “Rain

  1. catdownunder says:

    Ummm…yes but…er..hmmm…winter?

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  2. clarbojahn says:

    Will be enjoying my last days here in the country with my house, so private one can’t see neighbors and all the windows letting nature in. A look out of one of the sliding doors gives me a view of the town of Leesburg at night all the way down the mountain. all too soon I will trade this dream house for an apartment. Never have lived in an apt. before.

    Listening to you, i won’t like it much. 🙂

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    • Widdershins says:

      It’s not for everyone, but then, neither is the country. Enjoy the things apartment living has to offer, and see where the Journey takes you.

      I never figured that living in an apartment would end up propelling me to our little house in the middle of an island!

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  3. Certainly this is an account of extremes – from intensely urban living to island wilds. You could have chosen a half-way view… suburbia, perhaps?

    On the Prairies, many people will tell you that they prefer the intense cold of winter with a clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine to Vancouver’s grey pall and endless rain. I think I would like the blue skies with less-than-deadly temperatures to accompany them and only occasional rainfall to water the plants. Of course, I might have to become a snowbird to find such a place.

    Welcome to your new home, Widdershins. Or is that Wellieshins?

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    • Widdershins says:

      Certainly feels like ‘Wellieshins’ at the moment. One minute the sun’s shining, then its raining, then a bit of hail for good measure, then we’re back to clear blue skies!

      I don’t think I could do surburbia. Most of them feel like spirit deserts for me.

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  4. londonmabel says:

    Ohhh beautiful! Luverly, just luverly.

    My parents often went from house to apartment and back again, because of the plus and minuses of the two. (It’s the home maintenance you don’t have to worry about, if renting. No grass to mow etc. That’s what my dad would tire of.)

    I’m such an indoorsy that I’m fine in an apartment. But I do wish I lived around less light pollution–like a back yard where the street lamps don’t reach–so I could see more stars!

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    • Widdershins says:

      There’s quite a bit of grass but we have a share deal with our neighbour and only have to do every second mow.

      The stars here are quite phenomenal. I haven’t had that many opportunities to see them from a Northern hemisphere perspective. It’s almost a shock to not see the good old Southern Cross when I look up at them.

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      • londonmabel says:

        (Okay back online here!) I’ve never heard of the Southern Cross! Up here the easy to find constellation one always looks for is the Big Dipper.

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        • Widdershins says:

          If you check out the Aussie flag you’ll see the shape of the stars there. Apart from the Big Dipper, the only constellation I can recognise at the moment is Scorpio. Now that we live where there’s not so much light pollution I think I’ll get some starmaps of the sky and see what else I can find.

          P.S. if it ever stops raining long enough.

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  5. Kana Tyler says:

    One of the things I missed during apartment-living was the sound of rain on the roof. (I got the sound of someone else’s stomping kids on my “roof” instead… And spent my time trying to keep my own kids from creating thunder for OUR downstairs neighbors–as you say, apartment life is not for the faint of heart…) I’m happy now that our little trailer has a lovely LOUD roof when it rains… But rain on the water, wow–can’t beat that! 🙂

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  6. jannatwrites says:

    I’ve done apartment living and didn’t like it at all. Not enough privacy, and one of them had a roach problem – if one unit has them, all of them do.

    The lake sounds wonderful – peaceful and relaxing. Glad you have the opportunity to get out of the city!

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