Friday, July 1, 2016

雨 ame

My first June in Japan, the summer of 2015, was not particularly wet.  June is the "rainy season" and like all the seasons here, was highly anticipated and much talked about.  I expected 20+ days of rain.  Like a snowless winter in the mountains, it was a dud.  I was disappointed.

This June there has been rain, a lot of rain, almost everyday.  It is not a heavy rain; it is not an all-day deluge.  It is mostly soft and pleasant.  The asphalt of the streets, continuously stained by rain, is a richer black.  The leaves of the trees and the moss of the earth have a phosphorescent green glow.  The cedar of the minka (traditional houses) is most fragrant when rain dampened.  The whole city smells somehow green, fresh, alive.

Based on last years rainfall I have misjudged the gray skies on several occasions and have been caught in an afternoon shower without an umbrella.  This was not altogether disagreeable and I was not inclined to curse my gambling spirit or Mother Nature's humor.  A quiet tribute to Gene Kelly seemed more apropos.

My flea market umbrella has begun to rust at the hinges from overuse.  I seem to always be drying out socks and shoes.  No sooner do I water the plants on my terrace than the rain begins to fall.

I grew up in southern California where rain is a somewhat rare event.  My Japanese friends have no great love for this season.  For me, it is a joy.

"I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain..."

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