I come from a place where it rains - a lot. At least it used to rain a lot. But this summer? The grass in the parks is brown - which never used to happen - and even worse, it didn't rain at all the last two weeks in August.
Now maybe that won't mean anything to you, but to any of us who grew up in Vancouver, we know what that means. We have a big fair here - midway, animals, entertainment, craftwork - those two weeks and I've been going to the PNE for almost 50 years. And it almost always rains those two weeks, not every day maybe, but a whole lot of those days.
This lack of rain wouldn't bother me too much if this was the first time it had happened, but it happened last year as well. Instead of raining 5 or 6 of those 14 days, it rained 2. That's two years in a row. The year before, same thing. The last year we had serious rain in the last two weeks of August was 2001. We normally have 135 mm of rain in July and August in Vancouver, this year we had 35.
And Tofino on the far west coast of Vancouver Island - one of the rainiest places on the planet - had so little rain this summer that they had to basically close down the village for the Labor Day weekend. They closed the hotels and restaurants and coffee shops, because there was no water left in the reservoir.
But today? Today was a good day. It's September 9 and for the first time in almost six weeks, we had a little bit of rain, not a lot, but a little. And I spent most of the day outside enjoying it. The air, for the first time in weeks, smelled like it should in Vancouver - it smelled like the ocean, like damp asphalt, like wet leaves - it smelled clean. And I loved it.
One of the reasons Vancouver is so beautiful is the same reason England is so beautiful. It's because it's green all year round, and it's green all year round because it rains. And although we might have a tiny bit more rain tonight, it won't be enough to make it feel right, it won't be enough rain.
I miss it.