When I lived in Southern California, though I loved the lifestyle of beach living, the one thing I remember missing more than anything was rain. There was always the beach, the ocean, cool foggy mornings, warm ocean breezes, nearly perfect weather most days out of the year. But I always found myself longing for the cool rainfall that replenished and cleansed our earth. Growing up in the South, we tend to take for granted the beautiful, pounding thunderstorms that grace us so often in the summertime, the heavy downpours, the misting afternoon showers, the storms that set in and make crawling into bed and listening to its rhythm your only option.
But this summer, rain has been scarce down here. It’s been so very dry and hot, and I hadn’t seen a cloud in the sky in weeks—until yesterday. Though it didn’t last long, it was enough to cool things down a bit, water the starving grass and plant life, and offer us a delightful respite from the brutal heat of a Southern summer. As I sat on the back porch and took in the cool breeze that followed the storm, I remembered the last year I was in San Diego.
That year I spent pregnant (you know, women are actually pregnant for 10 months, not nine, and when you’re three or so weeks late giving birth, a year comes up pretty quickly). I rode the train to and from work every day along the coast. In the mornings, I watched the thick marine layer hover over the coast, and in the evenings, the marine layer had been replaced with the stunning view of the sun’s rays glistening off the ocean waters. I walked home from the train station every day along the bluff and was blessed to hear the waves crashing down on the sand. I walked my dogs on the beach every chance I got. I took it all in with every breath. It was a gorgeous place to live, but the pureness of the rain was never far from my mind.
I know it may sound crazy, but rain is a huge part of who I am. It’s my spirit—from the days when I played softball and hoped it would rain just enough to cool us off but not enough to cancel the game, to the strong and tumultuous storms of my college days in Kansas, to that year I spent in San Diego, pregnant, scared, and looking to the skies for a little bit of comfort. I didn’t realize how important the rain touching my face was to me until I was denied it for so long.
The day my daughter was born, it rained in San Diego. Two days later, the day we took her home from the hospital, it rained as we left the hospital. That was the first time my daughter—Makensie Rain—met her namesake, drizzling softly on her newborn head as if baptizing her right there in the parking lot of the hospital and whispering to us both, “Let’s go home.”