When the Sun Won't Shine - This American Girl

Isla Carenero Bocas


Born and raised in Seattle, Washington one might expect I’d be accustomed to the rain.

Greeting each gray morning in a sophisticated trench

sporting shades to combat the blindingly white overcast sky

stepping into rubber wellies to keep my thick wool socks dry.


Isla Carenero Bocas


And while I lived that way

for the better part of my life

I never liked it.


Bocas del Toro


In the summer months

I was the first to wear shorts and espadrilles even if I froze in the shade.

Ducked out of work early if temperatures exceeded 70 degrees.

Refused to eat in restaurants without patios or lakefront views.

Spent every moment I could bathing in the intermittent sunshine the sky afforded me.


Bocas del Toro


In fact I have been told that I love the sun

more than anyone on earth.


Isla Carenero Bocas


But somehow, I can never quite seem to escape the rain.


Playa Cocles


I’ve waded flooded muddy streets in Mexico

hidden in museums in Paris

stood under the eaves of monuments in Rome

headed to the hills during monsoons on Oahu


Isla Carenero


swam in the ocean under storms in Costa Rica

eaten soggy street food in drizzly London

waited out the rain in beachside bars in Belize

and island hopped under a protective parka in Bocas del Toro


Playa Cocles


Now, as I write this, from Puerto Viejo

I am staring at the jungle between drops of rain.

It started the day I arrived

and almost one week later

has ceased to stop.


Isla Carenero


Trucks spray mud puddles onto my bare legs as I peddle by on my bicycle.

My clothes, my towels, my books just won’t dry.

The beach walk I took yesterday became a rescue mission when I found myself submerged in a river that flooded the shore.

And most importantly

I have lost my tan.


Playa Cocles


What do you do

when the sun

won’t shine?


Isla Carenero Cocles





Isla Carenero Cocles


When the memories of days that seemed like eternal summers

shine so bright in your mind you can almost feel the warmth

yet you just can’t channel the light.


Isla Carenero Cocles


When you want more than anything

to have the easy happiness

that comes with the sun

but are consumed with the heaviness

of the clouds.


Isla Carenero Cocles


Instead of sulking

of hoping

of waiting

for the sun




what if you found

the beauty

the growth

the peace

in the rain?


Isla Carenero Cocles


Because rain fills our oceans and rivers

creating waves to ride and pools to swim.




Rain seeps deep into the ground

making the jungle lush and green

the trees strong and tall

the flowers soft and open.


Isla Carenero Cocles


Rain cleans and purifies all that it touches.


Isla Carenero Cocles


Rain sustains life.


Isla Carenero Cocles


So if the world around you is shrouded in clouds

or your heart and soul are caught in a turbulent storm




this time of rain.


Punta Uva Puerto Viejo


Know that it is fueling, feeding, rejuvenating

your world

for the time

when sun decides

to shine again.


Punta Uva Puerto Viejo


And I promise

however dark your sky

one day

it will.


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