When it's raining in Melbourne, the sky is overcast and clouds blanket the sky, I always wake up with a smile.
Colleagues grumble about the weather, people at the coffee shop comment about it being another gloomy day and I know that many don't like getting out of bed and in amongst such misery.
For me, I think back to Sri Lanka and the excitement of rain. My grandparents' house was built on gravel and sand land and sat at the bottom of a hill. On one of these days back in Nugegoda, the gravel would sink into puddles, lakes and oceans, and a large, confident river would always form from the front doorstep and run alongside the outer walls, around the garage before looping over to the back garden and out of sight.
We would sit with my dad on the doorstep (we were sheltered from the overhang of the roof), fold paper boats, set them to sail and hope they would reach the end of their course. The house protected many of their little journeys, but the heavy fall of water presented a formidable challenge all the same - only one or two ever disappeared over the horizon (what a win it was when they did!)
In Japan, monsoon season brought peace. The city was so hectic that the air often vibrated with the anxiety, stress and haste of the people below - I would feel it as I crossed the bridge over the train tracks on the way to work every day. When the rain came down, it drowned out all the sounds and pushed the day's negativity down into the earth and the riveted sewers.
I would eagerly grab my plastic, sturdy konbini umbrella, head outside and peer delightedly through its translucent skin - marvelling at the quiet and soaking in the silence as I made my way to the train station.
In Dubai, the rain disrupted our routines and was always met with excitement and agitation. Our houses and streets were not built for it, and that was fair - we had maybe a day or two of precipitation over the whole year. But when it rained, it really bucketed down. Streets would flood and sometimes schools closed because the buildings couldn’t cope. At home, we would have to run upstairs and plug a leak or place bowls on the dining table so the wooden furniture wouldn't ruin. We would all huddle together the day after and share stories of our conquests and survival.
Today I stand at the Town Hall tram stop waiting for my ride into Port Melbourne, where I work. Public transport always lags on rainy days in Melbourne. My studio knows I'm running late, so I lean against the perspex and type happily to my dear friend Paul about another good start to a good day.
*Konbini: convenience store