If it’s not dry, then it is wet. However, for the past five years, Guanacaste has experienced an earth parched “non rainy rainy season” following the six seasonally dry months each year. All felt the effects of such minuscule rain. The monkeys, horses, and stray dogs, amongst many others, relied on a few noble individuals who shared their precious water with them. Everyone was thirsty and hot, and dusty. The Great Drought expanded far past this little province in Costa Rica. It seemed like the mouth of the world went dry.
On April 25, swollen clouds burst their seams. The first rain is always celebrated here. People walk out into the middle of the streets in jubilation. An echo of, “it’s raining!” and “is that rain?” rings through the town in disbelief until it touches the skin of the disbelievers. Old molasses from the roads collects in potholes and diffuses merriment. Dust turns to mud, single sandals fall victim to inconspicuous sink holes, and the back of all legs look paint brush splattered, but these things aren’t as bad as the rain is good.
It’s a season of abundance. The cows and horses have plump girths and babies at their sides. Low lying foliage is taller than I am and serves as a hidden highway for small mammals and reptiles. I have counted fifteen geckos on my tiny patio feasting on moths and mosquitos. Dragonflies occupy the day thermals, while fireflies light up the dark spaces of the night. Graceful crocodiles swim parallel to the beaches out of what appears to be for sheer pleasure.
I find that the violent storms bring peace to the mind. The smell before, during, and after a rain is like a time released sedative. We all need to slow down sometimes. It is an excuse to just be.
Walking on the beach at sunset during this season is borderline transcendental. A thin layer of ocean slicks the sand and the ever transforming and intensifying palate of colors in the clouds reflect underneath your toes. It is a feeling of being grounded here with your head in the heavens. The sunset show encompasses you like a warm embrace. You can’t help but offer a standing ovation for the performance, which is beautifully different every night.
I miss the rains when they are gone, but I’ve also learned to love fully what you have when you have it. Life is like the seasons, a cyclical series of predictable un-predictableness’s. Like a rainbow, it is here and gone with the start and end points having no indelible significance. One day soon, and quite suddenly and unexpectedly, the offshore winds will start and will manifest the next transformation. I like that one too though because while I know what to expect in some ways, I have no idea what to expect in others.
Writing & photos 2,3,5 by Jenn Parker
Photos 1,4,6 by Kaitlyn Shea