I suppose it’s a matter of cherishing the things that you don’t often get, but here in southern California I find special pleasure in the occasional rainfall. And right now, that’s exactly what’s happening — in droves. Like the old Mamas & Papas (I don’t think they actually had kids) song went, “It never rains in southern California, it pours, man, it pours.” As the large drops hit the ground, it’s as though the ground itself breaks out in a big smile.
Ironically, one of the reasons people choose to live here is for the lack of rain, which I can only understand for a couple of benefits. First, the dryness turns out to be less than hospitable for critters like mosquitoes and other nocturnal bugs, allowing for those matchless summer nights out in the back yard. Second, rain never turns white and piles up on sidewalks and streets.
But beyond that, what’s not to like? As soon as the rain began to fall, I opened the door to the dining room so the cool, moist air could start to fill the house.
And crazy me, I simply like to watch. Back when I was a senior in high school I lived in a small town — yeah, another one of those — where the rain was anything but scarce, and one of things we did, almost as a family, was to gather on the front porch and watch the rain. Naturally, if a neighbor strolled by on the walk, we’d question his good sense and awareness of the weather.
Even now, I’ve actually called people during an event to express my pleasure and ask for their opinion…of what? Better yet, people who know my feelings about this call me!
Doesn’t matter. It’s at least a change from patterns that are, frankly, kinda boring. After you’ve lived here for a while you get a genuine longing for bona fide seasons where you can sense a movement in the earth — this, as opposed to a 20-degree variance in partly cloudy skies, day after day. As of yesterday, tiny green leaves have begun to return to the trees on our street, but there never was a true fall season, let alone what amounts to a full-chested winter. So it’s business as usual. Three weeks ago we hacked back the flowers and bushes in the back yard and already new buds have begun to replace the old. In the front, only minor trimming was required. Hence, the conclusion of summer, the duration of winter, and the onset of spring in 21 days, with all due appreciation to a reliable and constant sprinkler system.
So the occasional storm is special, freshening the dry land in the process. And it adds a sense of renewal, while completely negating the notion of air conditioning. For a couple of hours we are not hermetically sealed.
Now if we can just do something about that small leak in the roof over the living room…