Friday, March 24, 2006

Seasons in the Eastern Caribbean

The two photos above illustrate the seasons in the Eastern Caribbean--wet and dry. Each of these photos is of the same valley, just one looking west and the other looking east. The green one was taken in Nov. (one of the wettest years anyone remembers) while the other was taken in March or April. Yes, Dec.-Feb. is cooler than July-Sept., but not so as most of you would notice. The high in Jan. may only be 85 while it will be over 90 in Aug., so the obvious difference is rainfall.

The main rainy season corresponds roughly to hurricane season and may start in May or June and run as late as Dec., although it typically ends in Oct. It can affect work in this area--preaching in the open air after July can be unpredictable because of the rain. It will also affect attendance at worship services, as most of the members still walk or ride in the back of a pickup. Even where they have transport the rain still cuts attendance--I remember one Sunday morning in St. Croix, after it had rained all night. When the appointed hour came there were 6 of us--our family of 5 and one brother. The rest had slept in, in accordance with old habits/culture, going back to when all work was outside, so if it rained you couldn't work, so you might as well rest.

Not so long ago open air preaching would also be scheduled when the moon was full, to help those who would be visiting in their journey back and forth. If you've ever tried to preach by moonlight you know it isn't much good for reading, especially if you're over 40. I preach something that I can quote the Scriptures for, although I have had a "reader" a couple of times--someone younger who can see to read the Scripture, which I then comment upon.

Yes brethren, we are blessed. The weather is not usually a factor for most of us in whether we attend worship or not. Let us take full advantage of this blessing.


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