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Jewish World Review
Jan. 19, 2007
/ 29 Teves 5767
Rain Where Art Thou?
No one has been talking about it yet, but I believe we must be heading into severe drought conditions here in Los Angeles. Right now as I sit and type, this particular day is cold and overcast there is even some minor drizzle, very minor, but we have had really nothing even close to what could be considered normal rainfall for well over a year.
It is an interesting thing, but every time the weather tellers say it will rain, it never does. "Rain coming for Thursday and Friday," translates to "No rain in the foreseeable future, thank you very much." It's about as sure a thing as you could ever get in this here world you could bet the baby's college fund on it. If the predictors say "rain" you can confidently run out and have your car washed, leave the raincoat at home, and drive through the canyons without a second thought.
I suppose the old adage that one always desires most the thing most unobtainable (or words to that effect) is true in the case of rain for me. I have always liked the rain and living here in L.A. I never get enough of it or any of it, it seems lately. Sunshine is tiresome and dull, whereas rain is invigorating and interesting. Someone once said that most places in the world have weather, but Los Angeles has climate. I would add to that, the word, "boring."
There is something refreshing and cleansing about rain, a washing away of the previous days' dirt. And there is something particularly warm and comforting about a nice steady rainfall in the middle of the day when one is inside all safe and sound. I don't mean a violent storm which pounds the windows and floods the streets, (although I could make a case for even that, too) but a nice steady, normal, medium rainfall which encourages one to make a fire in the fireplace, curl up with a book, and put up a nice cup of tea (or a good stiff drink, if you prefer).
Which brings me to an observation made recently by my wife that whenever it does rain slightly, it seems to choose the dead of night to do so, thus gypping those of us who enjoy the rain out of any pleasure we might get out of it. What good is it to have a bit of rain if you've slept through the entire thing? It would be like looking forward to seeing the hottest $200 a seat musical show and falling asleep before it even begins. No fair.
Having it rain during the day, if you don't absolutely have to be somewhere, is nature's way of telling you to stay home and take it easy today. Don't go out, slow down and take a deep breath. Without sounding too ethereal or New Age-y, rain can create the proper atmosphere for thought and meditation. It also supplies the right backdrop for old-fashioned conversation. And a rainy day is perfect for a game of cards, Scrabble, Parcheesi, or Monopoly.
When I was in elementary school, the teacher would drag out the old box of comic books to hand out to us on rainy days when we couldn't go out for recess or lunch it was a special treat for me. Nothing went better with my tuna sandwich then reading a Little Lulu or Dagwood comic at my desk on a rainy day. Now that I think of it, it seems that we had a lot more rainy days back then. I remember walking to school often in my yellow rain slicker and galoshes, stomping in puddles and jumping across flooded street corners. I can still remember those metal latch-snaps on my coat and boots. And I remember sitting at the window at home just watching the rain.
It's been a long time since I just sat at a window and watched it rain. I miss it. Looking out my window now, it appears that the sun is starting to break through the dark clouds and once again, L.A. will be rain-free. Too bad. We could use the rain, and not only for the usual sensible reasons like for the agriculture, or for the water reserves, but for the washing of the soul that a fresh, sweet rain brings with it.
I guess I'll just have to be content with the cold, crisp air, of which I am grateful, and the overcast sky, which is all too rare in the City of Angeles. At least it isn't another hot, sunny day, and that in itself is something. But the weather mavens got it wrong again and they will continue to get it wrong, it seems, no matter how high tech they get. When you say it will rain in Los Angeles, you might as well predict when hell will freeze over. They promised me rain again. No rain today.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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© 2006, Greg Crosby