24 May 2008


There’s this beautiful, watery early-morning light outside my window. It’s raining. Just before dawn it was a downpour. The roar of the opened sky woke me. Now gentle raindrops are tippling off the tender, spring-new leaves on the climbing rose and the sweet gum tree, and there’s that special musty-damp scent that long-dry, dusty cement exudes only when wet with rain. The rhododendron’s deep scarlet-purple blossoms are spattered with diamonds that wink dully in the quiet gray light.

You can almost feel the parched Earth stretching with pleasure as her pores open to drink this unseasonably cool moisture. You can almost hear the Mother sighing, “Aaaahhhh.”

This is the first real rainstorm we’ve had in Northern California since mid-February. That’s a long, long dry stretch when you consider that California’s dry season normally starts now and continues until late October or even November. The last, short rainy season wasn’t very rainy. It stayed dry during the last two months of the year, then rained and snowed through January and the first two weeks in February.

And then it stopped.

Today starts the long Memorial Day weekend. There are hopeful campers headed into the mountains this very moment, their cars and SUVs loaded down with tents and kids and pic-a-nic baskets, coolers, barbecue grills and bags of charcoal, air mattresses, sleeping bags and fishing poles. And you can bet they’re grumbling and cussing the weather. It’s supposed to be fine and hot on Memorial Day, isn’t it?

Not this year. Rain and cool temps – 50s and 60s – are forecast for the whole holiday weekend. And to add delicious insult to injury, it might even snow above 6,000 feet.


The hot weather will be back before we know it to plop its sweltering elephant-butt down on us for the long, long, long, long, long hot summer. Believe me, I’m enjoying this lovely cool rain while I can.


Bubs said...

I love your description of the rain. Beautiful.

EasyDiverChris said...

Dear Wren,

I thought your rain description was thoughtful. It made me remember one of my favorite words: petrichor. It's the smell of dry earth after a rain.

Hope the remainder of the rainy weekend helps Mother even more.

Best wishes.