There is no doubt that 2020 has been one of the strangest years on the planet. With Covid-19 and all the differing opinions on how to handle it, together with the apparent complete ignoring of all other diseases and comparisons of mortality, many are feeling the strain of such a drastic change to lifestyles, not to mention devastating effects on the economy, globally and locally, with greed and corruption in the forefront worldwide. It therefore seems a bit of a relief to toss all that aside and go back to that most mundane of all topics, the weather.
Discussing the weather is possibly the most used awkward moment ‘filler’, where everyone can have an opinion and not offend anyone. We all love the rain when it is needed and hate it after three days’ consecutive downpours. The heat of the summer sun can pall after a bad sunburn, or a humid night spent tossing and turning and wondering why one still has not bought a ceiling fan! It’s either too hot or too cold, too windy or too still. And we always agree with what the other person is saying.
Here in Cape Town we celebrated every storm of winter, but now that we are in December the rain is still coming, albeit more of a drizzle just to spoil the day, and we are not yet far enough away from Day Zero to actively pray for rain to go away. It’s not apparent what the source of the precipitation is – a black southeaster? A cut-off low? A weak cold front coming up from the South Atlantic? Thunderclouds from the north? We have even had two different wind directions simultaneously over the last day or so, with the high clouds sweeping in from the northwest and the ground level being a southeaster.
This is great for the garden and for me; I don’t have to spend an hour a day watering to keep the plants happy. The water tanks fill up almost as fast as I empty them, and the water table, although sinking already, is much higher than last year. But this is the time of year when holidays loom (was 2020 not enough of a forced holiday?) and our entertainment is outdoors. The slightest drizzle can ruin an event for us Capetonians. No doubt in countries where rain is seldom far away they have a better coping mechanism, but it seems we are unwilling to get slightly damp from a little life-giving, soft rain and stay indoors far too easily. Surely a summer shower in mild temperatures is something we should actively seek, turning our faces up to the rain in gratitude? I think it may be that we never have a Plan B. These strange weather patterns may become the norm and we might even have to think of a Plan C. That will be adjusting our mindset to a new way of living.
Perhaps 2020 is preparing us for a total change in the way we live – economically, physically and mentally. A new world. Uh oh!