And It Rains

1 January 2021 – Rain smacks onto Scotia St. and courses on down the slope, tracing the route followed for millennia by Brewery Creek, now sealed away beneath the pavement. I am out in seriously waterproof gear, ready to take on the day.

As always, I slow my steps by the totem pole that soars up this side of the Native Education Centre at East 5th.

The work of master carver Norman Tait of the Nishga First Nation, this totem is a tribute to all indigenous peoples, past, present and future, and bears the title “Wil Sayt Bakwhlgat,” or “place where people gather.”

I look into the oval alcove, as I always do … then step closer, cock my head, peer inside.

Yes, it’s just a rock, but I pause, for I have seen tributes tucked into this alcove before now. If there is intention to this placement, I wish it well. (If not, I like the rock anyway. — shape, colour, and shine.)

The rain and I carry on downhill to East 1st, where my brain — supposedly running the show — waits to see which way my feet decide to go. My feet turn left, my brain raises no objection, so I’m headed for False Creek.

Goodness, it is so wet! Temperate rainforest strutting its stuff. No takers for any of these rental bikes …

just occasional pedestrians, like that woman keeping pace with her aging German shepherd.

In contrast I pick up my own pace, and then start to giggle. Here I am pitching attitude at rain drops! (Yah, well, just keep heaving it down! I can — literally — take you in stride!)

Self-praise has me barrelling right along, a little more west & a little more north, and then here I am, curving ’round Science World at the end of False Creek. Down here at the sea wall, I’m not the only person pitching attitude at the rain: lots of people are out for a bit of January 1st exercise — adults, kids, cyclists & runners, with a pretty even division between the pro- and anti-umbrella camps.

I lurk under the Science World canopy on the west side for a bit, where I eye the sail boats and that clever heron who has neatly tucked away his neck, presumably to keep it dry.

There he sits, patiently waiting out the storm.

We all know how that feels!

Happy new year.

Leave a comment


  1. Your heron would be a little warmer with his neck tucked in and his feathers fluffed out.

  2. A nice post thank you, you made me smile!

  3. Happy New Year, Penny. All the best for 2021.
    Yes, patiently waiting out the storm.

  4. TomB

     /  2 January 2021

    Have a good 2021, Penny!!! Tom

  5. Rain or shine, huh? We sure have had our share of inclement, or at least uninspiring weather lately. I’m impressed that you got out. Something tells me there was intention in the placement of that rock, inscrutable maybe, but purposeful. Your paragraph beginning, “The rain and I..” is a gem. I love it. I love the hunkered-down heron, too. Here’s hoping that a few more sunbreaks come your way! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • We like to think our conscious mind is in charge, but neuroscience is steadily proving this not to be the case.

    • Meant to add… best wishes to you in 2021, and political better luck to your country…

      • We need that luck down here! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We need someone in charge whose conscious mind has at least a little influence in his/her decision-making. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • More rationality would help… Good luck to you, which is a way to wish all of us good luck: a USA-off-the-rails would be bad news for us all

  6. I love walking with you in the rain, although Iโ€™m not as jealous as I would have been in the middle of fire-frenzy this time last year, since itโ€™s mizzling here too. Iโ€™m a fan of grey days and you capture the beauty of such days beautifully in your heron photo. Wishing you joy and good health as your 2021 companions.

    • And health and joy to you and yours, for 2021. I hope you are soon able to visit your family in Europe once again.

  7. I love the rain — sounds like a cliche I know, but there it is. Also living near a temperate rainforest I guess it makes sense. Thank you for being one of the constant delights in our life.
    As Snoopy says, “You are harder to hit if you just keep moving,” or something like that.
    Terry and Dianne


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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