drip drip drop. ................. 1 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 0 0

Rain, or the lack of it, is the central fact of life in Southern California. The 300+ annual sunny days, and the "Mediterranean climate" were the draws sucking in former denizens of the steppes of Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois, people glad to abandon the annual chore of shoveling the snow off the sidewalk, unless they really want to.

But rain's not snow.

The liquid stuff, that's the best. All the metaphors about cleansing and purification -- I understand when it rains. I understand full body immersion baptism. You want to get in it, feel it completely surround you. The air smells different, like rain. The roads shine and drip.

This has been the best year for weather, ever. Well, okay, maybe the best summer ever. Winter and spring -- a bit of a disappointment, precipitation-wise. I can't think of a single full day of rain, the kind that starts when you wake up and doesn't end until three days later. But Summer more than compensated. I adored the cool weather, especially after the hideous summers of 1997 and '98. The Beach Boys always managed to make it sound like an Endless Summer was a good thing -- but without air conditioning, it was a nightmare. I could barely sleep; I don't think Helen did. But this year: only a single week of truly hot, almost sticky weather appeared all August, and then it went right back to cloudy. June gloom, on and off again, all through July and into August. Amazing.

This fall: rain, almost on my birthday, and again in October. We're not supposed to have this. And as I write this, the showers have ceased worrying the freeways, the birds sing, and the sun is returning puddles to the sky.

Could it be more glorious?

Last modified: Wed May 2 04:56:04 PDT 2001