I thought for sure that it would rain last night.
While cycling back from Annie’s with a bag of chips for dinner I felt like the mythical fish on a bicycle (“A woman needs a man like a fish ….”).
No feminism reflections here. It was just so muggy that it felt like the air itself would burst open like a balloon and unleash torrents upon this parched little island.
As darkness fell, some lightning to the east added even more anticipation.
All we need now, I thought, is a surging breeze to herald the storm and …
But no. Rain didn’t arrive.
An occasional gust in the night would rustle the palms outside our bedroom window and they would tease us with that crinkly rustling sound that is eerily close to the patter of rain against the windows.
Welcome to the rainy season on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Those who have lived here far longer than Rose and me have, at the very least, taken notice of the heat and lack of rain. Nothing like it, they say. Not in their memory.
It has rained a couple of times in the night since we returned to the island on Aug. 12. Each was fierce and full and lasted little more than a handful of minutes. For homes with cisterns and efficient water gathering systems, such rains are godsends. For those on wells, it will take much more rain, over time, to replenish the groundwater.
South of us, there is municipal water. It is a more-reliable source but everyone is talking about drought measures. On an island, that mentality is already in place: Use everything wisely, waste nothing.
There is relief to be found. Inside the offices of Belize Telemedia Ltd. and Belize Electric Ltd., where I have had business lately, it is like a refrigerator. In BTL you can sit and wait your turn in cool comfort and free WiFi, at least until you are called up or politely asked to leave. Yes, some people do step in just for the chilling relief.
There is relief in sitting or sleeping under our overhead fans, which have hardly been off since we moved in last week. We bought a small fan for the kitchen. The cost was $74 BZD. I thought the girl said $24 which would have been an improbably good deal for the last fan on the shelf.
I didn’t notice the actual price, $66 with locals discount, until I got home.
Today at Maria’s, Jose Jr. and I got into a little discussion on the unpredictability of life, agreeing that we can go at any minute, it is not our decision and live life as best you can while you can.
That sort of thing.
So I walked off with the bananas, ginger and gallon jug of coconut water and left the potatoes behind. Even though the potatoes were the original reason for stopping at our favorite produce stand.
Yes, the heat can make you a bit stupid. Well, me, for sure.
All this week in the heat, Rose has been filling in at Zen Arcade, teaching advanced yoga in the mornings and ramping up her Pilates classes, with an introductory class on Tuesday and a regular class this Saturday.
(I have just been informed that the introductory Pilates class was on Monday and further, this is only Wednesday, not Thursday as I was assuming. Another fine example of what? Yes: Heat makes me stupid.)
As I’m writing this, my WhatsApp buzzes.
“Come to my 11!”
”Sure!” I reply. “Teaching yoga? Pilates?”
“On my way …”
Sure it is hot. But this is merely an observation, not a complaint.
Right now, you can be ridiculously hot most anywhere on Planet Earth. That’s just the crazy mess we’re in. We chose to be hot down here on Ambergris Caye in Belize.
We know that some day soon, the winds will return and the rain will return and with them the roads will grow deep in mud and potholes and the sky will fill with mosquitoes and everyone will be talking about the days when it was only hot and humid.
As Jose Jr. and I concluded earlier today: We must celebrate what we have now before us; this moment is the best that we have. We can decide how we relate to what we have right now. We don’t know about tomorrow or the next hour. We don’t control them.
And darn it, if it gets any hotter this afternoon I’m just going to have to put on my new snorkeling gear and jump into the Caribbean and stare at the lionfish until the weather cools down.