I’ve always loved the phrase “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” In the UK where water buckets from the sky and sloshes down roofs regularly, it’s a great mantra by which to live your life, particularly if you have a classy mackintosh and carry a perky umbrella with the light step of Mary Poppins.
It’s rather different in Gozo: whilst the island has undeniably dramatic storms on occasion with purple lightning shooting across the sky, thudding rain and winds to whip your umbrella inside-out, it is generally a sunshine island. For 300 days a year, the landscape glows as if King Midas himself has leant down and brushed the fields with his fingertips and passing wisps of cloud map scudding shadows onto the verdant valleys below. Most of the time the weather is perfect for blue-sky breakfasting on the balcony or strolling coastal paths speckled with springtime flowers perhaps added by a pointillist painter with a penchant for primary colours.
Afer the continual spring sunshine of the last two months, anyone on a winter walking holiday will have been counting their blessings. Our farming neighbours however are wringing their hands as they pray for heavy clouds and for water to tumble from the heavens onto the thirsty fields below because, out in Gharb, there has been no rain whatsoever all year. So whilst the island is wrapped in a winter robe of emerald green, the grasses that sway in the breeze aren’t as long and lush as they might be and it’s this grass that is used to make hay with which to feed the scattered shady barns of animals when the ground has scorched under fierce summer heat.
So today, The Significant Other and I, along with most of the residents of Gozo have our fingers crossed tightly that this week’s promised weather front opens the tap of nature’s sprinkler system and showers the crops with glistening teardrops, graceful as Julie Andrews.
Then let the dancing begin; and, take it from a girl who once regularly danced her socks off in swirly skirts and red glitzy heels, never underestimate the joy of puddle-hopping in matching wellies and raincoat.