I’m looking out at the small valley where we live on the central California coast. Ordinarily I would gaze straight out at the parched mountains of the Santa Monica National Park, but today the first significant rain in ten months clouds the vista. My eyes are drawn to the neighborhood trees swaying in the wind and dancing as the raindrops fall on their leaves.
I’m wondering what is happening out in the park. Will the two cracked and fissured dried-up ponds miraculously become watering holes for the inhabitants of the park? Will the burrowing creatures have to find dryer digs? What are the large mammals doing? I think of the deer, the mountain lions, and our newcomer, a black bear, who successfully crossed the busy 101 Freeway. Are they under sheltering trees, in caves, or under rocky outcroppings? And what about man’s footprint in this place of restoration? Will the significant rainfall temporarily erase the erosion of human feet and bicycles?
When you live with the threat of drought and fire, moisture of any kind has value, whether it is heavy fog, light teasing rain, hail, or large pelting drops. And so this is a special day—the day of the first significant rainfall of the season. This is a day when all creatures, foliage, and the earth itself rejoices.
Earlier today, when I went to occupational therapy, the main topic between clients and therapists was the rain. Everyone was excited. In the large therapy room, two windows were open to allow the life-giving humid air access to thirsty human skin. One woman, who was doing her hand exercises, looked out the windows and said, “I love that the windows are open so we can experience the rain.” She then paused and said, “The trees are happy now.”
Yes, the trees are happy. And so am I.