Around here, precipitation has killed far more marriages than infidelity.
The first time I went to a local reiki practitioner, she told me that my husband has a golden aura. Mine was a sort of muddy brown at the time. The colour at the bottom of your coffee cup when you get home from work and find it sitting on the kitchen counter.
But Greg radiates goodness. It’s the first thing I noticed about him. His face is lit up by some sort of inner sun. He’s like the weather in Bali. A treat to live with.
The sight of him makes me smile. If I run into him unexpectedly, it fills me with irrepressible delight. I’d wag my tail if I could.
Greg is known as a natural problem solver. He fixes computers, bicycles, and remote control devices. He once fixed the satellite dish at a public television station.
If something isn’t working properly, I take it very personally. My first impulse is to throw it. This rarely helps, and it has resulted in a number of shattered iPad screens. To cut the cost of repairs, when Greg senses my temper rising, he gently takes the iPad out of my hands.
You need a compatible relationship in order to live on this island. You also have to be able to handle the weather. We get a lot of it here. Violent storms, fog, rain that lasts for months. It’s the rain that gets most people. Around here, precipitation has killed more marriages than infidelity.
We get more kinds of rain than you would have thought possible. Environment Canada has a special thesaurus just for rain. Light rain, periods of rain, steady rain, rain mixed with snow, showers, a few showers, drizzle.
There’s an important distinction between a few showers and drizzle. With a few showers, you might be able to go outside for half an hour without getting wet. With drizzle you can’t.
If the rain looks really bad, Environment Canada pluralizes it: Heavy rains, torrential rains, damaging rains. That’s the one to look out for. It means flooding, mudslides, trees and power lines coming down. For some people this is serious. It blocks the only road to the liquor store.
In the city, the weather is mostly in the background. Here it gets in your face. The power frequently goes out during the winter. At first we panicked. Then we bought a generator. Now we hold Power’s Out Potlucks.
When it comes to the weather, unlike problem-solving, Greg and I have equal equanimity. If it’s sunny, we run outside with the dog. If it’s snowing, we run outside with the dog. If it’s raining we run outside but more slowly. The dog has to be dragged.
We love mist and fog. We go for walks and Greg takes pictures of it. He also takes pictures of lightening and snowfall, a curtain of rain moving across the water, a triple rainbow after a summer storm.
If the weather is really pissy, we opt for cocooning. Even before the power goes out, we stoke up the fire, light candles, and make a nest in the sunroom. Sometimes these are the best days. We set a pot of soup on the back burner to simmer. We let life and the weather take its course.
It’s taught us something. What we can’t control, for example everything. What we can do without. Running water, Facebook, television. And what we can do with. With acceptance, with patience, with a creative imagination. And most importantly, with love. The smallest amount, and like a candle in a dark room, it spreads light.
A spiritual teacher said that it doesn’t matter what you love, only that you love. Your garden. Your friends. Your cat. Your neighbour’s cat. People who are sad, or sick, or lonely. The courageous, the honest, the homeless, the ones who have hope, and the ones without hope on this suffering, broken planet.
We aren’t cut off from the world on this tiny island. If anything we feel more connected. To all our fellow creatures. There is no outside world. There’s just Our World.
Perhaps the island has helped us or healed us. It has certainly changed us. For one thing, my aura’s a much better colour.