When Magic Came to Town
It rained in Los Angeles this past week. The city finds it impossible to behave as usual in the wet weather. Everything is suddenly difficult and this place is not built for hardship. Water is everywhere as the rainfall has nowhere to go and venturing outside of one’s dwelling place suddenly becomes an expedition into the wilderness.
In spite of all this I am deeply happy when the skies turn grey and the drops begin their inevitable tumble from the sky. It is as if the rain opens wide my vision and I see the world through layers of precious memory. Moments from my past are brought so close I could almost reach out and touch them and for that reason I am sad when the rain fades away, as it always does, and bright sunshine takes its place.
The rain started during the last few days of my father’s recent visit. On the very day we had chosen for a trip to Malibu. We drove the Pacific Coast Highway as the sky water beat against the windshield and the grey ocean sprayed up in foam and choppy waves from the shore beside the highway. The Country Mart was deserted; Angelinos prefer to shelter indoors wherever possible during such a downpour. We cracked jokes with the sales people; talking of Block Island and other East Coast marvels and idiosyncrasies. Later we sat in a local Italian restaurant, the second of two tables as music played low in the background and the waiters drank coffee in the kitchen with the chefs; such is the happiness of a supremely slow business day in the restaurant world. We talked of things sundry and important. As always with my father it was in the cherished moments of silence that I felt I learnt the most and as the rain fell in sheets outside the window I could hear the echo of every moment that I have been lucky enough to sit with him.
And so now the rain has vanished and sunshine has returned to town. My dog basks happily in the window seat as I write this and the beautiful Los Angeles light pervades. I think of family and of time present. I think of how time past really does flow through each moment of our experience and how we can use its magic to move into time future. My daughter skips happily into the room burbling with delight over the dolls a friend gifted her just last night. I smile, seeing in my mind’s eye the ladder of life stretching up to the stars in front of her and knowing that we are helping her to climb every rung with sure and steady feet.