We proud Southern Californians do not know what to do with rain. We haven't the appropriate clothes or footwear or driving skills for the unexpected deluge. We are incredulous at these black battleship clouds, racing across a rough sky, peppering us with barrages of stinging rain. When it pours, people without umbrellas run crazily for cover, their arms over their heads; people with umbrellas walk ever faster as their shoes and ankles become targets for watery bullets ricocheting off the pavement.
Deep-water pools develop instantaneously where sidewalks had been before. On the freeways when it rains it is not uncommon to see cars facing the wrong way after their always-in-a-rush wheels hit the silent slick roadway.
The rain washes away the drippings of oil and radiator fluids on the roadway, it washes away the burrito wrappers and leaves from the street into the gutter. It washes away the tumbleweeds and spray paint cans in the barrancas behind the housing tracts. It washes away the diesel and car exhaust particulates that hang heavy in the air. It washes the dusty coats of a thousand gleaming ravens in the bare branched trees next to the freeway.It erodes mountains and softens the green hills and makes the lowly glitter.
It's a cleansing, not just of this parched and dirty land, sent sometimes with lightning bolts and artillery bursts of thunder, but of the senses as well, stripping away the dull hazy grimeyness and replacing it with shiny clean luster on buildings and cars and blades of grass, restoring the musky scent of life rather than the poisoned smell of machines, tasting the crisp sweetness of the air and gulping it down like it's never been breathed before, it's primal. In this land that seems perpetually dry and scratchy and in wont of a good bath, rain is like a sacrament.
Tim Bulone is an ardent observer of life on the swirling blue marble. He works at Davis Group Consulting and creates fine art and canvas prints which he likes to sell from time to time at http://www.MyFamilyArt.com He is an early morning pedestrian in Belmont Shore, where he resides with his wife and a variety of lazy pets.