If the rain comes they run and hide their heads - Beatles "Rain"
If you live in Boulder, Colorado you probably know what the boys from Liverpool were singing about. In a twenty-four hour period, they received nine inches of rain. And then they got more rain. For days. I thought of the many times I had heard my mother say that "we really need the moisture," and I imagined that she probably won't have that feeling again for a while.
I thought about the coincidence of my younger brother's visit to our home town, and how I used to refer to myself as "bringer of rain" for the way that I brought an end to California's drought by moving here twenty years ago. I thought about the hard work that is in front of every resident of the flood-ravaged Front Range. It will be a long time before things return to anything that resembles business as usual up against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
I thought about the creek into which I once sprinkled the ashes of my father. It was his wish, as he once wrote in the pages of our cabin's guest book: "scatter me here." I remembered all the ways I used to demonstrate watersheds for my fourth grade class. Water flows from the highest point to the lowest point, gradually picking up speed and gathering sediment and debris as it joins other streams and rivers. Over the years, I'm sure that my father, in diluted form, made his way down out of the hills and onto the plains, perhaps rolling right past his old high school in that same creek that overflowed its banks just a couple weeks ago. Bits of him may have even drifted as far as Kansas, where he was born.
I thought about Shel Silverstein, who wrote, "And some kind of help is the kind of help That helping's all about/And some kind of help is the kind of help We all can do without." The first kind would be how my older brother and sister-in-law spent those days during and after the deluge, making the city and county safer. The second would be the nimrods kayaking in the storm swollen streams, and the conspiracy twits who insist that this was all part of some government plot generated by secret weather control technology.
Then I remembered that my younger brother was there in Colorado when the rain began. Now that he's back in California, the Bay Area received its first measurable rain in months. There is no causal connection here. I'm just glad that he made it back and my family is safe and sound once again.