2014.09.24

xerophilous
adjective:
Adapted to a very dry or desert environment.

I am not adapted to a desert environment. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, which is more accurately described as a rainforest. Actually, it’s raining right now. It’s often raining where I come from. Instead of being annoyed or scowling through the window or cancelling plans, we work our way through. We grab an umbrella (we always carry an umbrella), and we get on with our day. It’s the only way to live in Vancouver. Because even if it’s not raining now, it’s going to start raining later. I can pretty much guarantee.

Last year, last July, I think it was, we recorded our very first full calendar month without measurable rainfall. This was since the beginning of weather recording, which is more than a hundred years old. Every single month in Vancouver, whether it’s summer, fall, winter, or spring, there is rain. There is always rain. You have to learn to love it. Just like every other thing about your city, yourself, or the person you love. The only way through life is adapting yourself.

If I was plunked down in the middle of a desert environment right now, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I would survive. It would take a few years to love it, but I think I could even get to that point. If that was where I was going to be, and that was somewhere I had to be, I suppose I could make it home. Thankfully, that’s not where life is going. Even with the climate change problems we’re facing, I don’t imagine this city turning into a desert in my lifetime. And I don’t imagine myself moving to a desert. The only way that could happen is if I fell in love with someone who was in love with a desert. But we’d have to meet somewhere else, and there would definitely be a conversation. Maybe we could spend half our year in the north, the other half in the south?

But this is all speculation for a future which does not yet exist. For now, I’m happy in north. I’m happy with rain and lush green and tall trees. I’m happy near an ocean, even if I don’t swim in it every day. I’m happy near the mountains, though I don’t climb. It’s the surroundings that make me feel most at home, and when they’re not there, I know something is wrong. If I move to Europe, I’ll have rain and lush green and tall trees and mountains, but maybe not all at once. The advantage of a small continent is how easy it is to hope over to somewhere else. And how wonderful that the somewhere else is completely new and different. Here in Canada, we can fly for hours and still be in the same province. There’s not much difference between them all, except on the coasts, and to the north. The middle bit is kind of similar. I want somewhere brand new.