Raindrops tap dance on the multi-colored jungle canopy encircling my temporary home. They fall, bounce, skip and slide down the leaves, highlighting the brilliant colors of each. Their sound is that of change and a cleansing of the dirt and grime that has built up. And I’m just enjoying the song.
I’ve always had a fascination and love of rain. Growing up in a pristine Southern California climate, rain was a novelty to me and a welcome change from the norm. Every so often, it even brought along thunder and lightning and one could marvel at the sheer power of nature. I remember running up to the tops of hills with my friends to get a better view of pouring storms, hoping to see lightning strike somewhere off on the horizon. We’d climb trees, play hide and go seek, and do anything we could that involved getting coated in mud.
Every time the clouds form overhead and the wind changes, the world changes rapidly. But for some reason, most people are both not prepared for and don’t like the rain. The cacophony of city life is hushed and many just call it a day and go home.
I’m in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and the rain here is warm and fresh. After admiring the water rolling off the leaves around my house for some time, I grab an umbrella and venture out into town. A young couple go jogging by, narrowly missing one puddle before accidentally stomping through another. They laugh, but I can tell they’re hiding annoyance. A family in matching t-shirts takes shelter under the overhang of a tourist shop, which for some reason unknown to me, hasn’t immediately put out a bin of umbrellas for sale. A world-worn retired couple strolls by, shuffling their feet through a pond-like puddle in their sandals, reveling in their acceptance of the situation and embracing a leisurely pace while so many others sprint and dart around them.
I’m on my way to nowhere in particular, wandering to any place that catches my eye for a nice dinner with a view of the suddenly wet world and all of its inhabitants. I find a seat on a second story balcony overlooking the main Calle and take my post. The world is suddenly fresh and new and I enjoy watching as we all catch up.