Last year the island suffered a drought that left many trees and plants dead. Normally there is a wet season that spans late spring to early fall. This manifests differently across the island. For us here down by the water, this means sunny days followed by a late afternoon or evening shower – perfect irrigation. Last year we had month after month of dry sunny weather which was great as far as our guests were concerned, but very difficult for island plants and trees. Each time the sky darkened and seemed to threaten rain residents would get excited and hopeful. One afternoon while I was in Choice Mart it began to rain and the excitement in the air in the store was palpable. A buzz of happy voices surrounded me and I overheard “it’s a blessing” echoed excitedly and with relief multiple times. This is a farming island, after all, and adequate rainfall is critical.
I’ve been taking long walks out Painted Church Road and have been watching the coffee plants. Many have looked brown and skeletal, with cherries that have gone from ripe-red to shriveled black on the tree. However, over the last few weeks we have begun to receive soft evening showers, and the plant life has suddenly swung back to life. So far this spring we have been experiencing a more normal weather pattern, and the land is become green again. Last week as I walked I smelled the familiar, seductive jasmine-scent of coffee blossoms on the soft air, and was happy to see that the coffee plants are in bloom. Spring has come, and with it, the soft, warm, nurturing island rains.