Out here on the West Coast, everyone talks about how they want rain, how much we need rain. I miss rain. I was reminded of how much earlier this week when the weather forecasters reported over and over that there was a chance of rain. In the morning, when the sun rose, I looked in the distance and saw a huge rainbow. It was raining somewhere, not too far away. In years past, I have seen a lot of rainbows arching over the Oakland hills – sometimes spectacular double ones. Later, in the car on the drive from the Estuary up to the Berkeley hills, almost to Grizzly Peak, I saw the first tiny drops hit the windshield and pause before streaking away and disappearing. By the time I was at the office, there was no rain. There had been no downpour. But I knew it was raining somewhere nearby. I could smell it in the air and when I looked in the mirror, I saw my hair had curled from the humidity. I walked to the café for a coffee and on my way back, the mist spritzed my face and I thought the rain must be coming, and soon.
When I took a break for lunch and went outside, I saw the wet pavement and small puddles. It had rained and I had missed it but I hadn’t missed everything. I heard the screech of the jays, the chirp of the finches, and the sound of the hummingbirds who clicked as though encouraging a slow horse to get galloping. They sounded more excited than usual and the tree branches shook as they hopped from branch to branch. With each breath, I took in the scent of the wet Eucalyptus trees on the hillside and looked in the distance, all the way out to the Golden Gate Bridge, and saw the sky filled with swirling clouds, not one streak of blue. It was a good day.