33. Friday Night Rain

Last Friday night, Beijing served up one of its rare wet weather phenomena.

That’s right, it rained in the desert.

My friend and I were caught in the middle of it, cycling back while the droplets pelted us down. It reminded me of just how fertile, lush and rainy Vancouver is.

I used to hate gloomy days, and in Vancouver, that’s a dime-a-dozen. Most days, I stay indoors. If I’m forced to endure the outdoors, you’ll see me trying my best to make that journey as short as humanly possible.

The rain in Vancouver doesn’t come in sudden, short bursts. It drags out over the day, in the type of irritating drizzle that if you use an umbrella, you look like a wimp and if you don’t, you end up looking like a drenched cat and most likely just as annoyed as one.

But last friday night, I was biking in the downpour with the biggest smile I’ve sported on my face in a long while. It was magical, especially considering the acidity of the rain here could probably give you special powers if you are exposed to it long enough. And even though my face was burning slightly from it, and I had to immediately throw all my clothes in the wash and jump into the shower myself, I was happy to be caught in the midst of a scarce meteorological occasion.

I miss rain.

I am as surprised as you to see those three words typed out. But…

I miss that cozy feeling of the privileged, of having a roof over my head, of clean blankets and a queen-size bed to snuggle into, of having good books and a cup of rich warm hot cocoa for company.

I miss being able to let myself go, get drenched while dancing away outside and laughing the entire time like a carefree lunatic.

I miss wearing red rain boots and having puddles to jump into, especially a street full of them so I never need to be on dry land.

I miss calming my nerves by leaning my head against the cool window glass and listening to the drumbeats of raindrops.

I miss seeing the trashcan full of broken umbrellas, graveyard after graveyard as testimony to the strength of nature over us, and then the inevitable exacerbation when my own instrument fails me.

I miss staying at home and having the entire day to pester my parents until they just can’t take it no more, and gives me a kiss on the cheek and cooks me my favourites.

I miss taking in the scent of freshly-soaked grass and the delicious sight of vibrant, luscious green that only comes after an abundance of rainfall. I can almost see the joy of the plants around me after a particularly long shower.

I miss home.

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