A new record was set during August and September in Vancouver, B.C., according to Environment Canada. We had more dry weather in these two months than we have had for a century! People reveled in the sunshine, too. I think hardware stores probably made more money this year than they had in decades because the weather held and people not only finished lingering projects but started new ones. It was heavenly…. Regional beaches and parks were packed. I was able to grow a perfect tomato! We were all very primed, having had a seemingly endless spring. Several times this summer, I caught myself thinking, “Where can I live that would have weather like this all the time?” My answer was invariably “San Diego.” It has temperate weather year-round and sunny, blue skies. California is on hard times, though, and this U.S. election cycle is enough to scare anyone away. Besides, I’ve learned from hard experience that the grass is rarely greener on the other side. Still, residents in southwest B.C. knew the rain had to fall at some point, but we weren’t holding our collective breath.
Looks like the fateful day has arrived, though. When I got up today, our front walk was wet. At 8:30 a.m., I went out for coffee with a friend and it was gently misting. Now, it’s full-on rain. I looked up the Environment Canada forecast for this week, shown above, and it drove the point home. So, what better time than now to think about bumbershoots? When Indian Summer has wound down and we’re in for the long haul. Whether an umbrella is big, black, and utilitarian or light-weight and trendy, it is the accessory of choice around here in the fall, along with a good anorak. Umbrellas make a good subject for sculptures, too, no matter the medium, and a great many of them can be seen at this site: Amazing Umbrella Art.
“Waiting People,” sculpture, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. By Polleket via Wikimedia Commons
For me, the rainy season makes me turn inward and become more reflective, as there is less external stimulation. The nesting instinct kicks in and I think of sitting by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea and a good book or snuggling down into fluffy blankets for cat naps. Gardening is done for the year, flowers and plants are spent, and all that is left is fall cleanup and winterizing. Autumn also makes me think of indoor projects, domestic and artistic. Recently, I moved my ‘mobile ceramics studio’ from an area of the kitchen to the laundry room. It was too messy for the main area of the house…. It still looks messy, but there are more possibilities. I’ll fill small tubs with tools and materials and place them on a shelf high above the worktable. This means I will have to use a step stool to get things down, but that will be better than having everything strewn about, taking up work space. Since, it is colder in this area of the house, I will have to get another oil radiator. Can’t abide the chill, especially if I’m working with cold clay. There are many windows in this area and while it might not be sunny, it will be nice to look outside as I work. Several years ago, I planted a red twig dogwood bush in a flower bed facing the front door. By winter, the branches will have turned bright red. I like to walk over to the front door just so I can look at it when the weather dips. And now I can look out the window when I’m working with clay. When I go outside, I’ll just have to remember to bring my umbrella….