A poem from HW Longfellow entitled The Rainy Day
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Do you remember the short ditty we sang as a children: Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.
Why did we ask the rain to come another day? Why didn’t we just ask it not to come again? Somehow I think we have an understanding that drought and rain go hand in hand. We cannot have one to the exclusion of the other because there would be no balance in life.
Still, we seem to have received a bucketload of rain in the past few weeks in London. It took me a full 10 days after returning from Kuala Lumpur before it was dry enough to venture into the communal garden. We pulled out weeds and the last of the annual Summer bedding. We planted lots of tulip and narcissi bulbs for Spring. I talked to a few of my neighbours.
That was last weekend, and a few days later Mr Gochugaru and I flew out to the Indian Ocean for a short holiday. It was still raining in London as we left. And oh dear! It was raining as we arrived in our island resort.
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary
Our view on the boat from the airport to the resort
As a former Scout leader I remember always having to plan ‘wet weather activities’ on our camps, especially the Summer ones to the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. So in preparation for this trip Mr Gochugaru and I agreed that we would bring lots of reading, and use any unavoidable indoor time to catch up with things I never have time to do. My list of contacts needs serious updating and many obsolete files need to be deleted. I even brought my Christmas cards to write.
The weather has so far been a mixture of intense sunshine and sudden downpours. However, unlike London, the average temperature of 27 C is extremely pleasant and the sea breeze is a joy to breathe in by the lungful.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining
Our views the day after
Looking out at the pool and to the sea beyond this morning, I said to Mr Gochugaru: we have been a here a whole day and have done nothing. To which he replied: that’s exactly what we are supposed to do – nothing. I was slightly ashamed that I had to even think not to think. We had a massage later, which put me in a better frame of mind to relax, and then some ice cream after lunch which showed that I was capable of downtime. And then it rained again, so we headed indoors to do some reading.
Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary
Looking out at the rain and embracing it as part of life
This is a resort so inevitably there is a little bit of musical entertainment here and there. Last night it was a local singer doing cover versions of popular pop songs. This morning someone thought it a good idea to play electro pop by the pool. It was all quite fun but 56 is a tricky age to be. 20 years younger and you can still look credible crossing your forearms to Psy’s Gangnam Style while pretending to ride a horse. 20 years older and it doesn’t matter anymore what you get up to. If you can still jump around at that age you really (I mean really) deserve a round of applause.
I did not make it to any of the Indian Ocean islands until I was 50 but I am glad I did, starting with Mauritius in 2016. Into each life some rain must fall…behind the clouds is the sun still shining. There may never be a perfect holiday weather-wise, but we all need to make a start somewhere, and any age and anywhere is always a good place to start.