We have had rain in Los Angeles this past week, and it has been glorious.
So needed, you could almost hear the ground sucking up water like a five year old armed with a chocolate milkshake and a straw.
You could feel it stretching out and arching up to the downpour to let soak in as much water as possible.
Trees creaked with the joy of it, leaves stuck together on paths glossed with the celebration of it, drooping pot plants looked up in the hope of it, and the rather desperate-looking dried out grass of our front lawn (long left un-watered by sprinklers) sighed with the possibility of its new life.
It was good.
Of course my car chose the rainiest day of all to need repair. The garage owner kindly offered us a lift home (only 10 blocks away) but my nine year old urgently whispered tugging on my arm, “No, Mom! We want to walk!” And so walk we did, arm in arm and umbrellas crossing, talking about how fantastic the world looks when it’s raining.
Being Californian born and raised, my children have raincoats but own no wellington boots – why would they? They are the only children I know who get on the plane for England and pray pray pray for raaaaiiinnn. (In that moment I can only note with amusement that there’s not an English bone in them – what British child would pray for a rainy day?)
On our walk home, my son was wearing the one pair of shoes he owns. Initially I squeaked at him to keep them dry but, when we encountered a torrent too wide to jump, he turned his big blue eyes beseechingly toward me and waited. What could we do but go forward?
Pure joy lit his face as he splashed straight in ankle deep and stood there for several moments just thrilling to the cold wet feel of it all.
The rain has soaked into us this week like a balm of blessing. So good, that it just kept on coming, and coming, and coming.
Right at the beginning of Advent. Where all the weeks leading up to Christmas seem so full of hurry and noise. There seems only rare time to stretch one’s back into the hot water of the shower let alone lift our face to the cold refreshment of rain.
But we need real water so badly. It soaks deep into our pores to get to our heart. It enlivens us, refreshes us, nourishes us, quenches our raging fires, and revives our joy in the infinite gifts set before us every day.
Living water indeed.
So, after this week, my recommendation to myself – and to you – whatever you’re doing each day as we progress through the rest of Advent is this:
Let it rain.