It’s raining again.
I’m glad, because as I’ve said in this spot before, Northern California really, really, really needs the rain. Mainly it needs the rain in the form of mountain snow so we won’t be so parched come summertime, and maybe we won’t find ourselves having to choose which to water, ourselves or our gardens.
On the other hand, I was sort of looking forward to a little more pretty weather. You
know the type: it’s cool, even a little nippy, but the sky is a breathtaking robin’s-egg blue, the sun is bright, and everywhere you look there are signs of the oncoming spring. Our next-door neighbor’s old almond tree is covered in blossoms. Tulip leaves like green swords are rising from the soil next to our front door. The elderly laurel hedge has thousands of upright new leaves, still tightly furled but the promise … oh, the promise. My climbing rose, which has looked dead as a doorknob since November, suddenly has tons of new, tiny, deep maroon leaves.
Yep, spring is springing. No doubt about it.
But for the last several years at this time I have absolutely not felt that odd yearning for spring. Caught deep in drought, our winters have been so dreadfully mild, and so numbingly sunny and dry that I’d have danced naked on Main Street if there’d been a reasonable chance doing so would usher in some big storms and lots of water from the sky. I knew it was useless, though, so I spared everyone the traumatic experience.
I know I’m an odd duck, liking winter as I do. Most people who live here (and elsewhere, I might as well face it) love sunny, mild winters. They hate gray skies. Rain chills and depresses them. I have friends here who get downright glum when the clouds come in. They take it personally. They live in California, despite all its drawbacks, because they love sunshine and hot weather. If winter gets in the way, well, they’re really put out.
I don’t mind rain or cold weather. But this year, I do have a reason to be more appreciative of spring: my hands are killing me. These rapid changes in barometric pressure cause my knuckles to ache above and beyond the call of duty. The fact that I accidentally whacked my right hand against the corner of the table as I went into the kitchen a little while ago doesn’t help, either. That hand yelled bloody murder, it was so insulted. Now it’s twinging madly and there’s a round, red divot in the knuckle joint. I really need to be more careful.