It’s been one of the wettest winters on record in the Greater Los Angeles Area this year, and though the sun has stuck its head out to say hello, it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon.
The garage floods. The local jogging track and soccer pitch remains mostly underwater. The back doormat has little hope of ever drying out. The lawn is green with clover and little yellow wildflowers.
We have large potholes growing where there were never any before. There has been a shortage of galoshes for little kids. Duckboots have come sneaking out from the deep clothing collections of East Coast transplants. People stare at my trench with outward envy.
The drought is over. Again.
My wife looks at the overcast days with relish, smiles and declares “Oh my gawd, I LOVE this weather! It reminds me of Oregon!” It reminds me of my love-hate relationship with “rainy season.”
My shoulder (which I separated on a rainy day six years ago) aches most of the time now. The doors and windows are often closed against the cold and wet. The sun peeks out often enough that double rainbows rule the sky. The sky remains clear of smog most days, so that if you stand in the right spot on certain streets you can see clear from the port of Long Beach to the Hollywood sign.
The overcast days always make me think my time in New Haven, where it seemed to rain all the time–Summer, Spring, Winter or Fall. Rain with high heat and humidity, Rain with with cold, or Freezing Rain, just to mix it up.
In Southern California, we get sudden “Oh, whoops, I forgot to check the weather report so I’m going to be late to work!” kind of rain. In LA, we get “Oh, hi! it’s God here, and you kids have been dry for so long, that here’s three year’s worth of Sky Water in two weeks–y’all should really work on that climate change thing so we don’t have to do this” kind of rain. It comes in weird waves of sideways, and soft annoying sprinkles, and pretty puddle making spouts; we get sunny sky sprinkles, and big breaks of Summer Skies in winter followed by typhoon-worthy downdrafts that vanish to clear skies as soon as you’re properly dressed.
My dog and my sons sometime track mud inside.
I sometimes stand in the doorway and just watch and listen as it falls, coating the earth, overwhelming the ground so it runs off down the street, to the drains, and out to sea. I listen to it as it taps on the roof, and echoes on the heater and stove vents, pinging off of the aluminum.
The other day, after I dropped off the kids, I found a parking spot near a park we used to go to and sat in the car. It had been raining for something like 3 days straight. I was under-slept, over-tired, stressed out, and just emotionally drained. My shoulder ached, and I was angry at something, and the rain was coming down in sheets. I sat in the car and screamed, wailed and let the tears come down.
After a few minutes, I got myself under control, wiped my face and got out of the car. It stopped raining and the cool wind pushed me forward. I stepped in a puddle, rubbed my shoulder and walked towards the coffee shop, and a different view.