Lessons from the Rain

I’m not bundled into a Jeep heading off on an adventure to the Sian Ka’an nature reserve like I’d planned today. I just canceled the hire car reservation, as the rain is too heavy to drive anywhere.

I’ve been waiting to make the trip to the remote fishing village of Punta Allen and the protected nature reserve surrounding it for some time now (its a 3 hr drive down an unsealed, potholed road south of Tulum), saving the trip for when Tyrhone’s little sister visited. She’s been here for two weeks now and we’ve skydived, snorkeled in cenotes, visited ancient ruins, stayed in a luxury resort and gone horse riding on the beach. This trip was going to be our last big adventure together before she flies back to London on Sunday.

flowers in the rain

But nature had other plans for us today.

The storm rolled in two nights ago, drenching Playa del Carmen with fat drops of rain and covering us in a blanket of grey cloud that stretched out over the Caribbean to the dark horizon. The usually blue water was churned to a silvery grey, choppy and uninviting.

I feel for the holiday makers who are here for a few days or maybe a week, venturing away from their busy lives to lie on the beach and get a tan, investing their ‘hard earned money’ in a ‘well earned break’, only to be greeted by ominously grey skies and flooded sidewalks.

I guess it’s the off season for a reason.

And while I am a little disappointed that we are not currently braving Tyrhone’s four-wheel-driving skills, negotiating the dirt road to the small fishing village of Punta Allen and the lobster dinner that awaits (okay, maybe more than a little!), I find myself in a state of acceptance, realising that it just wasn’t meant to be today.

Of course, I feel for Taunee, Tyrhone’s sister, who is convinced that she brought the London weather with her, but I’m grateful for the almost two weeks of (searingly hot) sunny days she got to experience before the rains tracked her down.

I’m reminded about not being in control, and of not being in a state of ‘trying’ but of letting go instead. Of having good intentions but realising I’m not responsible for anything other than my own mind state. That is the only thing I have some power to change; my thinking and my perception, not other people and theirs.

raindrop leaf Playa del carmen

Nature always reminds me of my own insignificance, of being a tiny grain of sand in the vast desert, and I find it comforting to be aware of my own smallness.

Today the rain falls outside my window, pooling in the garden and threatening to flood our ground floor apartment, making ‘going’ anywhere or ‘doing’ anything rather difficult.

So instead, I’ll write about it, enjoying the sound of the rain as it spills off the roof and into the lush, waterlogged garden, reminding myself how lucky I am that I have nowhere in particular to be but here.

rain drop

Artwork by Tyrhone

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Lessons from the Rain — 21 Comments

  1. That makes me want to cozy in the house and read a good book. Although I do feel for your visitor, I’m glad you’re just accepting what is rather than feeling bad about missing out. (I don’t blame you for being upset losing out on the lobster…)
    Carmel and Shawn recently posted..MY UNDERWATER FEARFUL ADVENTUREMy Profile

  2. I also feel bad living in the Caribbean when it rains and I see the tourists looking so glum. I remember working so hard and waiting so long for a beach holiday, and then having rain. But now that I live here, and it’s basically a sauna, I am praying for rain. Sorry tourists :(
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Why Having a Blog is Awesome.My Profile

  3. “reminding myself how lucky I am that I have nowhere in particular to be but here”
    I think this is such a beautiful way of feeling content and being in the moment. We often forget how lucky we are while traveling and sulk when it rains (or when it’s too hot).
    Angela recently posted..Travelogue // 01: round the world planningMy Profile

  4. Sometimes rainy days are just what’s needed. A chance to relax, write or get things done which the sunshine always knocks down the priority list. Secretly I love a rainy day occasionally as I can curl up with a good box without feeling like I’m missing out on beautiful weather! Everything looks so lush, green and colourful there!
    Charlie recently posted..Our Round the World BudgetMy Profile

  5. Look on the bright side of things: a lobster or three are singing “someone saved my life tonight” in your honor! That is, of course, if lobsters are fond of Elton John…

  6. Another beautiful post, Sarah. You know that I struggle with stillness and accepting the things I have no control over (I’m either extremely Type A or an alcoholic…), but travel is helping work these things out. I’ve always been partial to the rain, but I’ve definitely found it a relief after months of non-stop travel. On rainy days I can stay in bed all day without feeling any kind of guilt! 😀
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Chewing the Fat with Sparrow in Space!My Profile

  7. HI Sarah, beautiful as always. We also learned that sometimes when the rain pours it actually doing us a favor. Two weekends ago, we booked a mountain lodge to mark the start of our hiking season. There was a forecast of rain but we went anyway hoping that it wouldn’t be too bad. But it poured really hard with strong wind and it even snowed in the evening! So we stayed just inside lodge, relaxed and enjoyed the fireplace! We felt rejuvenated not from the hike but from the forced relaxation caused by the rain. We realized we badly needed that slow time after a grueling week. We were so thankful for the rain.
    Marisol recently posted..Petra: Romancing the StonesMy Profile

  8. It’s rainy season in Saigon where there’s a torrential downpour almost daily… It’s great when you’re indoors but horrible to be out in, unprotected on your motorbike. But everything’s better at the beach, right?
    James recently posted..Life As Art – Failing to SucceedMy Profile

  9. What a lovely post Sarah! And that is just the thing, to accept the things we cannot control, and enjoy what we are given. Appreciate does rainy days for what they are! I’m almost wishing for a rainy day now…snug up in the sofa with a big cup of tea, a thick book and maybe a piece of chocolate!
    Pernilla recently posted..Snapshot Sunday: Lighthouse Beach, Port MacquarieMy Profile