Mark Twain is supposed to have said of Hartford, “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.” But I don’t believe he said Hartford. He probably said Ireland.
Not that the weather is varied. It is rainy. It figures I guess. It is a small island at the business end of a big ocean. So clouds get a chance to gather water all the way from Reykjavik, Thule or Halifax.
No wonder Ireland is 50 shades of gray. Clouds that boil up black, turn charcoal, then gunmetal, then part for a moment to admit a shaft of Cecil B. DeMille sunlight, then cycle through the whirligig again.
And then it rains. But not necessarily a satisfactory reliable rain. No, a sprinkle from the sky so you turn up your collar, zip up your slicker, clap on your cap and as soon as you are done it stops.
So you unzip and upcap and relax and then it recommences. So you leave yourself buttoned determined not to be fooled again. The clouds part. The sun comes out. Suddenly it has gone from sodden to summer. It is actually warm. You don’t just unzip, you undress. Take off your rain gear and sling it over your shoulder with the insouciance of Sinatra
Bang, down comes the deluge. Not a blustery, blowy sort of rain storm but like something out of a aHollywood soundstage. Rain straight down from the heavens as if programmed, as if pouring buckets through a colander, so perfect a pour is it.
On with the coat but not before you’re half drenched. On with the cap if you can extract it from the pocket. The temperature has dropped. It is really raining and then…it stops. At once. Like someone pulled a switch backstage. Like the director has got his shot and yelled, “Cut!” And the sun’s back out peeping through the rolling piled high clouds.
And then the gap in the clouds closes and again it starts all over. Wash, rinse, repeat, ad infinitum. It is like they have an ark parked somewhere. It is like Seattle with sheep instead of Bill Gates.
And when a day finally comes with sun for several hours, they tell me the whole country rejoices in the streets as if they’d won the Irish sweepstakes. They tell me. I haven’t actually seen such a thing yet.
Shakespeare sang, …when I came to man’s estate
With hey ho, the wind and the rain
‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut the gate
For the rain it raineth everyday.
He didn’t know the half of it. Half the rain had already rainethed on Ireland.