Rain

In LA, people like to whine about the rain.  I guess I’m willing to forgive the whiners because I know that a good chunk of the population lives in LA for the weather,or rather, the lack thereof.  I’m also willing to forgive because it is easy to complain about things that are out of the norm.  But I do not hate the rain.  I love the rain.  Some of my favorite memories came from rain.

Barstow, California.  I was 10 years old.  Solid sheets of rain were violently rattling our sliding glass doors.  A river of red clay flowed down the street.  My mother and I were curled up in the living room—each on a couch, each with a blanket, and each with a book.  The storm was the kind of storm that only happens in the desert: angry and wonderful.  The two of us listened and read.

Dillon, Montana. Perhaps I was 11 or 12 years of age. I was quite proud that I made dinner of macaroni and cheese for my grandmother and me.  Outside was a beautiful summer storm.  The clouds were an amazing shade of deep blue—a color I’ve yet to encounter again.

Hecla, Montana.  I don’t remember how old I was.  My cousin and I were huddled in the tent with a flashlight, giggling in the middle of the night.  We counted the seconds between lightning and claps of thunder to determine how close the storm was.  Grandpa called us into the camper just as the clouds broke open.  The mountain perfumes of pine and sage were strong and invigorating.

Heidelberg, Germany.  I sat on the bank of the Neckar, not far from O’Reiley’s, with my parents, my closest friends, and the entire city of Heidelberg to watch the burning of the castle.  No one minded the rain.  We watched the castle burn through the falling rain and enjoyed the fireworks that followed.  I felt lucky that day—lucky to be with my family, lucky to be with my friends, and lucky for the rain.

Heidelberg, Germany.  I was 19 years old and working a desk job for a university.  The summer before I moved back to the States, one particularly humid summer day yielded to beautiful summer rain.  The drops were plump and heavy—the kind that hit ground noisily and splashed.  I snuck away from my desk to stand in the garden and let the rain wash over me and cleanse me of oppressive summer stickiness.

I could go on…

Gluhwein at the Weinachtsmarkt tastes even better when it rains.

In Virginia, the rain in late fall washes the colors away, as if the artist wants to start with a fresh canvas.

Architecture in Paris is no less beautiful when the sky is gray and dripping.  On the contrary, it shines with a different kind of splendor.

And in Los Angeles, just a couple short days of rain in February brings naked trees back to life, makes brown lawns green, and blesses us with a few days of clear, smog-free skies.

I love the rain.

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