Lessons from the Weather

Its rainy season once more in Lagos and the extremes that come with this have once more become obvious. I’m not sure whether anyone has noticed but it’s much hotter now than it was a few weeks ago. The humidity is also strength sapping and if you have to venture out hopefully it’s from an air-conditioned room or house into a car with the same and your final destination also embracing you with cool air. However if you have to experience the sun live and direct…good luck!

People ensconced in the artificial coldness of air-conditioners experience a rude shock when they step into the sweltering heat. Those under it sweat as they march along, some more obviously than others. The hawkers of pure and bottled water make brisk business from those that need immediate relief. The onslaught is merciless and alleviated by a breeze eagerly sought but more often than not absent from the crowded Lagos streets.

The early morning is a good time to meander because it’s still relatively cool. At times a light breeze teases and makes the intense heat of the previous day mythical.  Some mornings find the sun scorching with no cloud cover or slight breeze to make it more endurable. Days like this seem longer than normal because the brightness makes everything seem faster than it really is and so rather than a later hour it’s quite early and so time drags.

The other side of the equation is the torrential rain that results during this season. Convectional rain results from convectional currents and the cycle repeats itself. The rain cools everything and makes sleep very conducive whilst conversely making it doubly difficult to get up for work. It complicates traffic, arrival and departure time to and from work and strains the tenuous hold we have on tempers as we navigate the road networks.

Any Lagos veteran will inform you that the only way to keep on schedule is to ignore the weather. This simply means braving the rain when it starts rather than waiting for it to abate or stop altogether. Purchasing the proper equipment also ensures that the true Lagosian stays a step ahead too. This means having a raincoat or better yet an umbrella, a rain hood or shower cap for the women folk to protect their hair also comes in handy.

Like everything in life the advantages of rain and sunlight come with a flip side we all have to understand and master. When we successfully know how to thrive in various conditions then life is not only good but worthwhile. As in all things the weather could be a metaphor for different situations we face and understanding the elements as well as the conditions they breed is essential to survival. Preparation is crucial as well as a good grasp on how these elements affect various aspects of life.

Another crucial aspect is learning to enjoy the weather. The inconvenience and hassle that the heat and rain bring often prevents us from savouring the benefits they confer. The urban life and attendant stress often cause us to overlook what would be lacking if the rhythm of the wet and dry was inordinately disrupted. Famine, drought, food shortage, disease, death etc are some dire extremes where nature has gone off kilter.

When we take the rough with the smooth and learn the best way to respond in different situations we make progress. What works for you may not necessarily work for or suit me. On the other hand, we could take a leaf out of another’s book and so live better as a result. So what new lesson have you learned lately?

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  1. That I’d take the rain over the heat right now; welcome the wet to the blistering blaze of the sun.

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