To a tourist, it's one of the most dreaded sights upon waking up on holiday in Barbados - completely overcast, dark skies.
But for me, the past three days of muted grey tones and intermittent rain showers are a welcome variation from the "perfect 10" norm.
There's a comforting sense of quiet and solitude - sort of like New York City in the summer, but then again, not at all. The boardwalk and beaches are nearly empty of people, but if you look closely enough, there are life forms of other kinds. More crabs on the sea walls, undeterred by frequent walkers and runners infringing upon their comfort zone. Same goes for the fish, which I observe today just lazily swaying in schools beneath the breaking waves on the crabs' sea rocks. I've never noticed them that close to the boardwalk before.
And the sea. The water takes on a very different kind of beauty when it is without the sun's direct illumination. It may be cliche, but you can't help but feel as if you're staring at a water color painting, the way the sea displays its variations of blues and greens, iridescent in a mysterious way, against the backdrop of a sky that is at once dark grey and light.
I welcome these rainy days. When it's picture-perfect every day, you start to feel guilty about not going to the beach. I remember the first time I saw the electric, aquamarine waters of the tropics. It's one of those memories that is so engrained in my mind, I can conjure the image in my head as clearly as if I were staring at a photograph in front of me. I was in sixth grade, on vacation with my family in the Bahamas. We were in a taxi-van on the way to the hotel from the airport. Between the blurred greens of the Bahamian flora from the taxi window, there it was - the water I had dreamt about, the water I had seen in so many pictures and movies, but never before in person!
How do you hold on to that appreciation? Does seeing it everyday lessen the awe-factor? When I'm in the car, there are certain peek-holes to the sea on the stretch of overdeveloped coastal road I travel frequently--brief glimpses of turquoise between apartment buildings, hotels, and businesses. I still crane my neck to catch those glimpses, and when I'm driving past the more generous beach view of Accra Beach, I lock my eyes as long as possible on the sea. But I can't help but feel like this appreciation is the slightest bit forced, like I'm willing myself to take it all in. Would there come a day when, like so many locals, I would talk on my phone, eyes fixed straight ahead, unaffected by the beauty to my side? Not if I can help it.