Sitting in my bed, door opened to the gray, shrouded vista of Kingston below, tumbleweeds of mist rolled through my room, making my toes curl, and my smile light up; in that moment I knew I’d found my Jamaican home.
Almost a year later, and one rainy Saturday got me thinking: since Jamaicans stay a yaad* when it rains, what do I do? Sense by sense, I’ll take you through my rainy day in Jamaica.
I see the sky darken as clouds roll over Kingston, sometimes obscuring the city completely, sometimes playing peekaboo, hiding sections of it behind the scudding masses of cumulonimbus. If I focus on the bright green of the mountains outside my windows, I can see the quick falling raindrops before they hit the ground. They seem to shoot through the air like drawings in a flipbook, already gone once glimpsed.
I hear the rain too, from the dripping of leaves between torrential downpours, to the heavy monsoon’s roar I thought could only be captured in an IMAX surround sound theater. Nature’s theater thunders, crashing with a decibel that makes me want to scurry back home and tuck under the covers, my green, plushy blankie offering its comfort against the scary storm outside.
I feel the moisture in the air, da breeze a blow** through every opening, forcing me to wear socks in a tropical country. When I venture outdoors (ever so briefly), the splat of raindrops reminds me of my brother dropping water balloons at my feet. With the cold breeze, the water makes my hair stand on end, my entire body covered in goosebumps.
I smell the rain even when I don’t feel it. Its heady aroma transports me to walks through Jurassic Park-like jungles, almost stuffy yet simultaneously invigorating, like a eucalyptus scented steam room that fills your lungs and leaves you longing for the next inhale. I notice another scent wafting through the air, pushing aside this natural potpourri. The buttery sweetness of my brownies baking reaches my nostrils, because after a while, even I tire of just sitting in bed, reading.
When I taste those brownies, my eyes close in rapture as an “mmmmm” escapes from my mouth and echoes off the light ggreen kitchen tiles. The taste is of home, chocolate, fat, and desire wrapped up in a home baked love tin. I tell myself that this is one of the cheaper (healthy?) recipes I’ve made, and decide that though it’s the first time I’ve cooked them, it most definitely won’t be the last.
My five senses take me through a rainy day, allowing me to pause, smell and savor my brownies, feel the raindrops on my skin, and be thankful for fuzzy- yet ugly- socks. My senses are always there, whether the weather be rainy or sunny, ready to guide my eyes to a child grinning bug-eyed at a balloon vendor, my nose to the unmistakably luscious smell of corndogs roasting, or my skin to the soft touch of a breeze on a hot beach day. I know wherever I go, Jamaica or faarin***, my senses remind me that a single touch, smell, sight, taste, or sound can light a moment with a force that will make your memory of it glow forever after.
**the breeze is blowing