Every year at this time, the sky in Bangkok changes as the Hot Season (March to June) changes to the Rainy Season (July to October). Clouds appear – first on the horizon and then overhead – as the seasonal change moves closer and closer to reality. Then, there is the first day when clouds appear… the first cloudy day… the first raindrop… the first sprinkling… the first downpour… until we finally break out the umbrella and begin carrying it with us everywhere we go.
I love the Rainy Season… though it is disruptive of my outdoor exercise schedule. I love it because the sky changes every day. After months of clear skies, fluffy white clouds appear and my heart rejoices. I have hope that both the oppressive heat and the dusty, smog-laden skies that amplify the Hot Season in the city will begin a slow march toward the cooler temperatures and clean skies of the Rainy Season. But the main reason why I love the rainy season is that the sky is never the same as cloud patterns shift by the day and by the hour, giving a new backdrop to all of the buildings that populate the city.
I particularly love the color patterns that sunset, accompanied by clouds, provides for our enjoyment. Since the clouds seem to congregate in late afternoon, after a steamy, muggy day, sunsets are far more beautiful than sunrises in the city. Sunsets are also a challenge for me, as an amateur photographer, because I have learned that the difference of a few seconds can change the beauty of a photograph from stunning to just average. I often see a beautiful scene, but in rushing to acquire a better position, I lose the light that was present when I first saw it. I am convinced that, apart from the time when the sun stopped in the middle of the sky (Joshua 10), no sun has waited for anyone to capture the scene and many lovely photographs have been lost.
Another reason that I love the Rainy Season is that the cloud patterns that dominate the skies diminish the size of even the largest skyscrapers. As storm clouds gather on the horizon, the size of the super cells and the majestic height of the clouds dwarf all of the buildings in Bangkok and a city whose buildings once overwhelmed and suffocated me is restored to its proper balance the the world. And finally, From the time I was a child in this country to the present day, there is no sound that is more soothing to me than the sound of rain, particularly if I am still wrapped up in the safe cocoon that is my own bed. From the sound of the individual raindrops that signal the start of a rainstorm to the thunderous sound of a monsoon downpour, all of it is a delight. Bring it on!