It's been raining for a couple of days and, in Southern California, rain is always welcomed.
Don't get me wrong, it's problematic in many ways. People in Los Angeles do not know how to drive in the rain. The roads get dangerously slick from built up oil, yet people refuse to slow down to accommodate the slippery roads.
There also seems to be no functioning water drainage in most of the city, so after about a minute of rain all the intersections are flooded in at least a foot of water.
But we need the rain. And after the awful fires we recently had, we desperately needed the rain to clear away the residual ash that covered everything. (Unfortunately, it's also led to deadly mudslides in some of the fire zones.)
That said, the fact is: rain makes me happy. I love rain. I love cloudy weather. I love the mysterious dark tinge to the skies. I love the smell of the moist air. I love the feel of raindrops. I love way the filtered light changes the colors of the trees and the flowers. I love the cool temperature.
Yes, I love rainy weather.
But some people hate it. Some people want only sunshine. Some people love to feel the heat. For some people, cloudy skies make them depressed, or rain means that they won't be able to do whatever outside activity they had planned.
I suppose because I've lived in California most of my life, I have the luxury to love the rain. We don't get it that often, so it's not something that regularly disrupts our lives.
And for the that same reason, rain has always been a special treat to me. I'm sure if I lived in an area where it rained a lot I wouldn't find it as charming. I will admit that trying to load a cart full of groceries into my car in the rain is not a treat. And having to bring the garbage cans up from the curb in the rain is not a treat. And getting mail and packages that are soggy and sometimes damaged is not a treat.
But, for me, jogging in the rain is a treat. And being curled up in bed, listening to the sounds of the raindrops tapping against the window is a treat. And seeing flowers covered in raindrops is a treat. And being able to throw on a fluffy sweater and pull on my rain boots is a treat.
For me, the rain is soothing; it's calming. In fact, even though I know the science of weather and why it rains, I can't help but feel that water (or snow for the few times I've experienced it) falling from the sky is a miracle.
Again, before you roll your eyes at me because I sound ridiculous, remember it only rains a couple of times a year where I live. Mostly we're plagued with drought. And, although the sunny skies of Southern California are beautiful and make things easy, it does start to feel monotonous after a while. All the days feel the same.
But rain feels so different. And because it's something different for our area, it always reminds me that life isn't the same for very long. And it's not predictable. And even when the rain is inconvenient, it's a reminder that I don't control the world around me. So I try to sit back and enjoy it.
And when I'm particularly lucky and have nothing imperative planned on a day that it's raining, the rain gives me an excuse to treat myself to a couple of hours curled up in a comforter to watch a movie, cozy in bed. In those moments, I appreciate the warmth and protection of my house. I open the blinds so I can see the rain as it hits the magnolia tree outside my window. The cats often keep me company, fascinated by the drops of water as they trickle down the window.
Once again, my answer to the question posed in the title of this piece has been affected by being chronically ill and mostly housebound for over 16 years. Before that, rain was a necessary annoyance to me. Now I love it. My days are so much the same that rain is a special treat—just like it is for Mara—even though we get more rain in northern California than she does in southern California.
If I'm not too sick on a rainy day, I'll even bundle up and take an umbrella into the backyard, sit in a chair and throw the ball for my dog (using one of those Chuck-Its). I never would have done that when I was healthy! But now, I love the sound of the rain on the umbrella and, like Mara, I love the smell of the moist air, and the dark sky and the way the rain changes the colors of the trees in my yard. It may sound silly, but sitting out in back in the rain is like going to a movie for me!
So what about you? Do you love the rain like Mara and I do? Or do you prefer the sun?
|Picture of Mara trying to jog across a rain flooded intersection near her house.|