This rainy season seems to bring in different weather

The green season has arrived, which means that if you don’t get all of your errands run before 1 p.m, fagetaboudit. Or, if you are going downtown, learn how to do the umbrella ballet. The streets are barely wide enough for two umbrellas side by side.

It means it rains most of the afternoon or there are huge aguaceros (cloud bursts) and killer lightning bolts with ear blasting cracks of thunder. In the evening it is a different country. The other night I walked into my living room and realized that I could not see beyond my balcony. The fog had indeed “creeped in on little cat feet,” and it was like 19th century London.

Less than an hour later I looked up from my book and the fog had turned to rain but sparkling lights on the mountainside were visible again. I don’t remember rainy seasons being like this in the past. The next morning the world is dry again with no trace of the soaking it got, except for the green, green trees, and by 8 or 9 a.m. I can see at least one volcano in the distance, the one not blocked by a billowy cloud. Later the cloud will become dark and we will start all over again. In short, just like the rest of the world, the weather patterns in Costa Rica are changing. It is a bit disconcerting, so I can imagine how really disturbing it must be in countries where the changes have been extreme.

I have predicted for some years that if the Arctic glaciers continue to melt, some countries will be going through another mini-ice age, but maybe it is just climate change with very cold winters and very hot summers.

I have also been predicting that my generation is not going to live as long as our parents and our children will have even a shorter life expectancy. I think I may be right here. But it won’t matter. The predictions of people like me are soon forgotten.

Meanwhile my son, Justin, called to say that he had bought some canned coconut water and it was delicious, filled with electrolytes and no sugar. No more energy drinks for him. A couple of Saturdays ago I was at the Pavas feria not feeling well, so I bought coconut water in its original container . . . a coconut. It was the first time I had ever tried it, and I found it vaguely sweet, not delicious, and certainly not habit forming. Later I felt terrible. And
connected my pain with the drink and cannot imagine ever trying it again.

I told Justin that aversion therapy is a very useful tool in breaking addictions. He said that it was originally a survival mechanism. I think both are correct. The difference is that we have become so civilized that we no longer know what is good for us and our survival. We mainly know what we like. And we indulge ourselves. Had I lived in times when honey was the only intensely sweet substance and worth bee stings to get, I probably would have enjoyed the faintly sweet refreshing quality of coconut water. But my brain still made a connection between the water and feeling sick.

All of which makes me wonder about the people who live too close to rivers that can overflow and levees that can break or near beaches in the path of the tsunamis that oceans can create, or settle themselves in land noted for its tornados or is below sea level. Will they all go back to their piece of real estate and rebuild their destroyed homes after the present onslaught is over, even though this may happen again? Or will they react with a place aversion and decide to move to where they feel is safer?

It is not that easy in this day and age. In prehistory times humans migrated from one place to another when their environment became hostile or unbearable. But there was no ownership of property to which they were bound to and responsible for. They could carry most of what they possessed.

It’s a puzzlement. But I am going to stay where I am for the time being. The Central Valley of Costa Rica seems to be situated between what may become the targets of these new weather patterns.

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