Thursday, July 12, 2012

a sound of rain

"...for there is a sound of rushing rain." -1 Kings 18:41

Southern California is a dessert, though walking through my neighborhood, you might not guess that right away. You’d walk past lush lawns and roses that teeter over fences greet you with their bright colors. You’d hear lawn mowers almost any morning of the week and breathe deeply of that fresh cut grass scent that reminds us things are growing.

But it actually doesn’t fool you for long. There are places that give it away. Like the LA River, which is less a river than a concrete ditch with a trickle of water that smells like the slums of Manila. And the hiking trails, which are like a celebrity without make up. At first you might feel embarrassed for her, but you quickly appreciate what’s true, even if unpolished.

Seasons are different here, and I had to adjust at first. When I moved, I arrived in June, and I didn’t feel a drop of rain until October (the 14th, to be exact, I remember). Every winter and early spring I wonder if this rain, or this one, will be our last for the next six months as we watch any green that grew on hillsides gradually crisp to gold.

Today is July 12, and last night I woke and swear I heard rain falling. I don’t know for sure if I was awake or just dreaming. When I went running early this morning, the only sign of water was the puddles from sprinklers that aim over the border of lawns. But the sky was dark with the kind of clouds that are weighed down by something, and they were slow to let any sun shine through. I guess I’m ok with the mystery, and in most ways it doesn’t matter. A light sprinkling won’t do much to help our browning lawns and hillsides.

Most of me just wants to believe in the probability of rain in a dessert, even when it’s just as simple to dismiss it as a dream.


  1. So, maybe no definite rain for Wednesday night, but I heard today (Friday) there was rain during the day. I hope you enjoyed it!

  2. Cool. I read this just as it started to sprinkle last night. What crazy weather!

    The "sound of rushing rain" phrase has definitely stuck with me from the sermon this Sunday, too.