Sara Alexander: Wet, Wild and Wonderful

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Storms are usually categorized as ‘bad’ weather but this week’s biggie was wonderful in many ways and not just for its drought-denting rain. Sara Alexander has this Perspective.

Which is better? The storm, or the morning after? I was swept away on a wave of nostalgia when I first woke up to the sound of gentle rain. It filled me with that rare contentment that comes from getting something you have wanted for a long, long time, and were not sure you would ever get. Like love, or sex, or peace of mind: the hope that this planet has a future that vaguely resembles the past.

They were all mixed up in my mind the first morning of rain. Then we lost our power. Flashlights, camping lanterns…all gathered from far corners of the house where they had been forgotten for too long. We ran to the neighbors to borrow batteries, chatting on the doorsteps, that wonderful feeling of ‘we-are-all-in-it-together’ mixed with yearning for ‘life-how-it-used-to-be’: storms every winter, dripping umbrellas, wet shoes, stuck indoors. Now all those experiences have a strange new glow. I can’t imagine ever being bothered by them again.

Then a few days later, The Big Storm. Wind that knocks branches off of trees, and floods the roads, and makes us wonder if we have enough food and where is the rain gear? It is just amazing to be Out In It, ignoring Nixle alerts that say “Stay Home. Stay Home”. But why? Why stay home when the world is an exciting new place? Wet, windy, wild, wonderful.

Or maybe the best part is today, the morning after. Like staring, sated, at your lover over a cup of coffee. The driveway matted with wet pine needles exudes an extraordinary smell. The paths are now made of golden maple leaves that gleam in the low-slanted morning light. The meadow has become briefly a small lake. Cars speed through the flooded road spewing walls of water with a risky nonchalance. There is a new carpet of apples under every apple tree, picked by the wind during the night, and the tiniest green grasses are already sprouting in the dead brown fields.

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The Drought did not disappear during the storm but, just the same, for a moment …I am grateful to inhabit a Crazy, New, Coming-alive world…

With a Perspective, this is Sara Alexander.

Sara Alexander is a therapist and filmmaker who lives in San Francisco and Graton.