Archive | April, 2012

I can’t stand the rain . . .

29 Apr

Havana floods (Vedado) (1). . . which is possibly one of the biggest lies I’ve told for a while. But more of that later.

I can remember, when I was a little younger, spending August bank holiday in a field in Bedfordshire at an open air festival- and, due to the vagaries of English weather, it would always contrive to rain. I’ve still got the recording of rain dripping onto tarpaulin as we huddled together and belted out the words to After The Fire’s ‘Island’… “here on my island, it’s nice when the sun shines, and I can enjoy all the good things in life…. but I can’t staaaand… the rain”.

Havana Vieja (4)But it’s not true, not for me, anyway. I love the rain. There’s something about rain that awakes something deep inside me… to the point that one of my friends refers to me as her little rain god. I don’t know what it is… perhaps it’s the memory of ‘wet play times’ where I could stay inside and read instead of being forced into playing outside. Perhaps it’s the memories of watching the rain pour down from leaden skies on an English beach as we played cards in our beach hut. Perhaps it is an affectionate nudge back to summer weekends under canvas listening to a parade of wonderful music. Perhaps it’s that some of the most romantic scenes in movies seem to happen in the pouring rain, when two people, so much in love, ignore everything and kiss with passion and desire. Perhaps it’s remembering splashing in puddles in my red wellies.

Trinidad downpour (6)I used to work in my garage, and every time it rained, I could hear the clatter on the garage door, and I would go and get my coat and go for a walk. I’d sit in the window of my study and watch the rivulets run down the street.

But it it just the memories of my youth that make me feel this way? I don’t think so. The more that I sense what’s happening as I walk, the more I feel there’s something deeper than that. The more I become aware of something more fundamental –and more true. At one level I seem to be sensing a different energy around the world – more creative, more connected – almost as if the raindrops are conducting spirit and thought in a whole new way. At another level, the rain creates an intimacy, a greater closeness to all of reality. There seem to be whispers in the rain of creative promise, of new growth – a promise that the dry times are over, that the drought is at an end, and that new life is even now starting to stir. There is the hope of refreshment, of another piece in the cycle of life.. and also the promise of things being made new, of being washed clean – of mistakes being erased, of things that don’t matter anymore being lifted clean.

And there’s just the hint of the possibility of the storm – of a moment when it steps beyond rain and the wind and thunder and lightning come together to demonstrate true elemental power – to show what just might happen, beyond this moment…


Pictures from Havana and Trinidad, Cuba, 2010


Countries I’ve visited . . .

12 Apr

There were 22 on the World Tour (which very clearly wasn’t a world tour, especially since I didn’t touch Africa or Latin America) which added to the 24 others that I’d visited earlier…

…but it still feels like a poor effort out of the 226 countries in the list!


Better get the next adventure planned… Africa here I come . . .

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