‘TIS THE SEASON – September 2009


By Margie Harrell


rainy“It’s raining and it’s wonderful” began the call from my amiga in Ajijic as I sat in triple digit heat in the Nevada desert. Immediately a flood of memories came rushing back to me of the many rainy seasons I had spent on the shores of beautiful Lake Chapala. When the monsoons arrive, both the inhabitants and the countryside seem to go through a metamorphosis. Life is renewed as Mother Nature goes about her business.

My first glimpse of that part of Mexico was in the month of March many years ago. The mountains were a dull brown and everything was dusty and parched. There was great anticipation of what was to come but first there would be the slight humidity of May to contend with.  Overhead fans would get a workout as many margaritas were consumed.

Once the rains began in early June you could almost set your clock by the daily downpour. It usually began around 4 pm and lasted for about two hours always careful not to interfere with the day’s or evening’s activities. Generally we could count on a midnight storm complete with lightning and thunder. When the electricity would fail it just seemed to be part of the nightly ritual. My childhood fears of storms vanished when I moved to Mexico as I sat on my patio and watched the light show.

Like many houses my doors and windows didn’t fit snuggly, allowing the dust and rain to enter. It was a constant battle for the maid to keep the floors and furniture clean.  I recall my first windy storm and how the water came in under the doors and flooded the living room. It was at that moment as I feverishly mopped that I knew life in Mexico was going to be anything but dull.

A pesky fly was disturbing my sleep as I repeatedly tried to brush him away.  Finally I switched on the light only to discover it was water that was hitting my face. The roof had sprung a small leak that was playing target practice with the bed. After placing a bucket under the spot I retired to the living room couch for the rest of the night. A call in the morning to the rental agency solved the problem as they had many times before.

The sun was shining as I looked forward to a fun time at a friend’s birthday party. I had been elected to bring the cake but my old car decided not to start so I set out on foot, cake and gift in hand. Suddenly there was a loud clap and down it came. I had forgotten the cardinal rule during rainy season: always be prepared. When I arrived I looked like a drowned rat. Early the next day I went shopping for an umbrella which I kept at my side long after the rainy season had past. Just in case.

At times life can be both amusing and frustrating as we encounter the simplest of tasks. When the family would call and I would tell them it was raining their response was always “Oh dear, perhaps it won’t last too long.” I never tried to explain the joys of a Mexican downpour. Like a lot of things that happen in Mexico, you had to have been there to fully appreciate them. Life can be simple but never boring, relaxing but always full and at times it can drench you but it never dampens your spirits. ‘Tis the season for such pleasures. Enjoy.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Ojo Del Lago
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