There’s not much weather where I live. In fact, it’s not unusual for a forecast for rain to fade away before actually materializing. It’s been a dry winter, so the prospect of rain is something people look forward to–even if it causes inconveniences.
I spent the last two days working in Berkeley. When I looked ahead at the weather to pack for my trip, I noticed that rain was expected today. I packed my raincoat, double checked that my umbrella was in its home in my suitcase, and hoped that the rain wouldn’t be the deluge I experienced on my last Berkeley trip in January that left my socks drenched and my pant legs damp.
When I awoke this morning and peeked out the hotel window, the streets were still dry. Thick cloud cover quilted the sky, suggesting that rain might just arrive. By the time I was ready to head downstairs for breakfast with my colleague, the air was damp. A light mist spritzed us as we navigated the sidewalks to our chosen restaurant. As I dipped my hands into my raincoat pocket I felt a slip of paper. Closer examination revealed it was a receipt from my last trip to Berkeley. Had I not worn my raincoat since my trip in January?
The rain increased by the time breakfast was done, now coming down at a steady rate. With hoods up, we walked and talked in the rain. It wasn’t coming down so hard that we had to hunch down, instead we reveled in this liquid gold, knowing our state is in great need of water.
By the time I got to the airport later in the afternoon, the sun peeked out, casting a glow over the tarmac.
My flight home was painless–and especially gorgeous as we started to descend. Layers of clouds interspersed with ribbons of magenta, red, and orange framed my view of the ocean. As we dipped lower, we sank into thick white cotton, obscuring the view for a bit until finally my city came into view.
I caught the last bits of sunset walking to the car and am left wondering if the rain will follow me here. The weather app says it will rain overnight, but will it? Rain overnight sounds good…but in these parts we never know weather or not the weather will arrive!
I happened to talk to a friend in Berkeley today and she mentioned that it was raining after 6 weeks of no rain, so your piece hooked me from the beginning–I was wondering if you were in the same area she was, and had the same reaction she did (you seem a little less bothered!). I love your descriptions of the sky–they’re bring the images to life so well.
We have nothing but weather, it seems, where I am in New England (and nothing but weather watching all winter). I remember going to Berkeley for NWP in late Spring one year, and I completely under-packed (what was I thinking? Maybe I figured California – Sunny – Warm) and it was cold, cloudy, rainy (as the region is often is) and I ended up having to buy pants and a jacket. I still wear the Cal jacket from time to time, and remember Berkeley. I guess the memory is stuffed deep in the pocket of that jacket, too.
Weirdly we obsessively watch weather too…perhaps in hopes of some. Berkeley weather is notoriously cold—except those rare days when temps soar and no one has air conditioning! Ah…the memories…