Wishful Thinking

I am moved deeply by weather, which is why living in Northern California is such a beautiful thing. We get one or two heat waves over the summer, but living only an hour's drive away from the coastline and within viewing distance of the gorgeous mountainside has a calming effect. When I first moved to California, I was completely unnerved by the winter rains. I was used to the fierce monsoons, the temperamental storms of humid summers that caused power outages and floods. But here, the rain was different. It raged from time to time, goaded on by one cold front or warm front or something of the sort, but usually it just fell at a steady pace, often for several days in a row. Even the rain in California was temperate.

We are in a drought this year. There has been almost no rain, and water conservation efforts have taken on a new importance and urgency. The winter has been uncharacteristically warm and dry. I wonder if the lack of rain somehow caused a drought in my writing, too. I have felt disconnected from it. While this is ordinarily a cause for alarm, this time I have just been apathetic. This morning, though, the clouds shivered ever so slightly and we got a tiny bit of rain. The roads were slick in the morning as I pulled out of the driveway later than usual. In the office, I was quickly swept into meetings and discussions, having very little time to appreciate the view from my window - the overcast sky, the juxtaposition of vibrant and muted colors, the brief rain making everything sharper while the haze in the air and the coverlet over the sun making it all distant, almost sepia colored. But now, I have a momentary reprieve, and I find myself getting drawn to this blank page (no longer blank), some odd compelling force swelling inside me, willing me to write - anything. And so, I do. 

I find myself wishing for a real winter storm, for the clouds to erupt and end this drought, end this state of unease and disuse in me. I am wishing for winds and heavy rain and thunder and the sound of all of it, the whistle of the wind, and the prattle of the rain, and the deep cough-like hum of the thunder. And as I wish for this I close my eyes and imagine the smell of such weather wafting with the wind through the kitchen window, a pine-scented candle burning on the counter, a steaming mug of cardamom chai, my baby playing with her books, the Food Channel playing in the background, and the death-grip suffocating my writing finally loosened because of the sudden release of winter rain.

Photo by Rebecca McCue