Thursday, May 05, 2005

Big thunderstorm last night. Rain fell without a stop - maybe a pause for breathe once or twice - a continuous downpour mixed with blasts of lightning and the belchy roars of thunder. And, of course, last night was also the first time I took a long drive down to Miami. To pick up my newly arrived Israeli cousin with my mom.

It was a nervous experience. First of all, driving with my mom is always a little tense. She's crazy. And reacts badly to any imperfections she sees in my driving. Also, I'm not driving her car anymore, I'm driving mine. And I'm very protective of my new baby, who I've nicknamed "MJ." So I drove slowly.

As we went south, the rain worsened. The roads turned to construction-strewn obstacle courses, with hundreds of other cars in the foggy dim. I couldn't see two cars in front of me! The windshield wipers sluiced back and forth with a grating nail-on-chalk echo. I tried to concentrate on the music (and ignore whatever the hell my mom was talking about). Lightning strikes lit up the clouds, snake-like tree branches that stretched from one distant point to another a county away, always eliciting a "whoa" or a "wow" from us.

This tropical weather is as moody as my mom. A week ago, the final days of spring brought calm wind, breezes, and muted sunshine, now the fangs of summer are outstretched and ready to strike. Humidity, sunshowers, and long, dreary, days are ahead.

But, last night, amidst the apocalyptic rain, I felt a sudden sense of well-being. The rain reminded me of the worst nights in San Francisco and the angry thunderstorms of New York City, and yet, with its own vile Floridian flavor. And it was kinda cool.

When I arrived here last summer, I couldn't stand the heat. One day I took a short walk and came home feeling like I'd just run a marathon in Hell. Shawn would tell me, "Don't worry. The weather will get better." I didn't believe her. Until the winter came, and hot days were replaced by bright days, a little wind, maybe even a little windchill. It was nice. I wish it would be like that all year round, but this isn't calm and year-round-beautiful Northern California, it's Tropical Florida. And it's my home now. And I'm learning to live with it.

Give me violent rain over 110 degree heat any day of the week!


Anonymous said...

:) home :)

just think of it as a nasty snow storm...but with less layers of clothes.

Elad said...

Good call. Snow can be annoying and destructive but also beautiful. Kinda like the suburbs.