Cambrian: Opinion

Mountain Musings: Romance and rain

After a rainy morning, a rainbow seen from McCabe Drive connects land to sky on Wednesday afternoon, Jan 20.
After a rainy morning, a rainbow seen from McCabe Drive connects land to sky on Wednesday afternoon, Jan 20. PHOTO BY BILL BUTZ

February rains in these Santa Lucia Mountains are a lot like lovers. That’s because rainstorms, like passionate people, come in all sorts of personalities. The problem is, unless you’re a meteorologist with access to inside information, you can’t accurately predict what’s coming …until it actually moves in.

Consequently, when precipitation does arrive, it’s something like a blind date. Sometimes you open the door and a wildly exciting downpour, complete with thunderous and electrifying hugs and kisses blows in. Then there are those other times when the knock sounds promising, but what saunters in is just a disenchanting drip that burps and farts a bit but doesn’t produce anything measurable … what are you going to do?

True enough, some Februaries are all about green grass and sunshine, but some years those occasional bad-boy storms, well, they happen. Mountain residents and Cambrians know the type. Their dark handsome clouds come bellowing in, gusting with forceful and destructive energy. Before you know it, they’ve blown everything you recognize around or away. Finding vulnerable areas, they create leaks or, worse yet, cause major structural damage. There’s no functioning normally in the midst of this aggression.

When the torrent finally moves on, let the healing begin. A lesson in survival: Before the challenge compromises your well-being, seek shelter and safety until the danger is over.

Although the rainy season sometimes means being stranded up here in Cambria’s backcountry— because of high water crossings, landslides, or fallen trees—each storm is fascinating in its own way. Each is influencing and cultivating character … just like relationships that reach out for romance.

For instance, there’s that high-hopes shower. The one that comes roaring near, full of potential, but when it finally breezes in it’s just a drizzling dud that makes you have a bad hair day. All talk and no action. A lesson in expectations — if you never want to know disappointment, don’t have any. Just be happy and grateful when the enthusiastic yet even-tempered, benevolent, cooperative cloudbursts come your way.

Here’s wishing for you that the experience of enjoyable rain and enchanting romance flow into your lives.

Michele Oksen ( lives in Cambria’s mountain community in the Santa Lucia range.