As an on-air traffic reporter, rainy days keep me on my toes. As rain pummeled San Diego Thursday morning and then again Friday, there were times when I just had to throw my hands up and literally announce, “…too many accidents to mention. Just please make sure you put on your headlights and take the transition ramps extra carefully!”
After talking the talk, I then have to walk the walk, as my morning shift ends and I must then go out in all the mess, the chaos, the slick and dangerous conditions. The upside is that yesterday, Friday, I would be taking the afternoon off as I had a friend visiting, and a small dinner party to throw that evening. My fill-in traffic reporter would have his work cut out for him.
Once home, I begin making the rest of the soups we would be having that evening. Perfect soup weather, so why not make a variety? I set out normal-sized bowls, plus coffee and demitasse cups for tasting.
At home the rain takes on an entirely different dynamic. My senses come alive as I enjoy the sound, the smell, the sight and even the feel of it (the latter, as I have to dash out into it a couple times).
Back when this home was a one-story and the roof leaked, rain brought a certain anxiety, frustration and mess. Now in my two-story home with it’s fairly new clay tile roof that never leaks, the only frustration and mess the rain brings is that my dogs aren’t crazy about going out in it — in the grand scheme a small price to pay.
The rain hits hard at times. Gusts of wind seem to shake the house. Leaves, branches and palm fronds litter the streets. I look out from an upstairs window at the shiny street below and am overcome with a sense of euphoria.
Later, as we all sit around the table enjoying food, cocktails and great conversation, we hardly notice the storm outside — but we know it’s there. It’s a cozy scenario, and I feel so in my element.
I awake to more pounding rain this morning and the wave of euphoric coziness overcomes me yet again. I want to stay in bed, but I need to get up and see our overnight friend off to the airport.
As she and I enjoy our tea, coffee and bagels, the rain comes in waves. Although I don’t want the rain to cause my friend any flight delays, I want it to rain all day.
Friend now gone, I crawl back into bed for a few more hours of sleep. No rain wakes me this time and as I get up from my nap I am disappointed to see it has tapered off. No more slick streets, at least for now.
I check the forecast and it reads 100% chance of heavy rain this afternoon and tonight. That forecast is toying with me, as it is 3:40 p.m. and no sign of rain just yet.
Is it selfish to crave the rain when I am not one who has to go out in it? Is it greedy to long for more of something we have already had plenty of in the last couple of days? Am I inconsiderate of those whom the heavy rain and storms inconvenience; those with their own leaky roofs, downed tree branches and even damaged fences?
As I step out onto my upstairs balcony in my flannel pajamas with little Boston Terriers on them, at 3:50 in the afternoon, with people walking by, just to check for signs of rain, am I really all that concerned with what people think?
I plead “no” on all accounts.
Is it futile to hope for something that I have absolutely no control of? Perhaps, but hope wins out over futility — every time.
What is it about the rain that I love so much, at least when I am safely inside, out of its element? The ecological side of me claims it is because San Diego has been experiencing a drought, and we are in dire need of the nourishment rain provides.
But it is the emotional side of me, as I glare up at the sun peeking through the clouds, that knows darn well that I adore the rain mostly because it simply nourishes my soul.
It’s 4:10 p.m. Again, my pajama-clad body steps out on the balcony. I feel small droplets. Here comes the rain — and my smile — again.