Angelenos like Sarabeth Puusemp flooded Instagram with photos in anticipation and enthusiasm for the arrival of a significant rainstorm last week.

Angelenos like Sarabeth Puusemp flooded Instagram with photos in anticipation and enthusiasm for the arrival of a significant rainstorm last week.

I have been praying to the rain gods for a break from our ongoing drought conditions. I don’t mean the drizzles that barely touch the soil, but a long period of steady rain. Even my drought tolerant garden is not looking very tolerant these days.

When our local stations announced a “1-2 punch” storm heading our way, I listened with disbelief. Thinking like an Angeleno, I figured a shift in wind direction would result in a Doppler effect that would send the rain elsewhere. Well, I was caught by surprise and without an umbrella on the storm’s first day. Fortunately, someone kindly lent me an umbrella and I maneuvered my way through the sidewalks of Downtown Los Angeles, experiencing an urban dance of dodging umbrellas and pedestrians running for cover. It was great!

We strive to work contextually in our practice and investigate culture in our research into understanding a site and community. Weather is definitely part of the Los Angeles culture. We love the sun, but hate the drought. We pray for rain, but are unprepared when it happens.

The weather not only snarled traffic and brought health warnings due to stormwater runoff pollution at our beaches, it also threatened a Dodgers game, disrupted plans for “Bike to Work Day,” dampened graduation ceremonies, and even blanketed Big Bear with snow.

But we were also reminded of that warm feeling of cocooning evoked by cool rainy days. The clear refreshing air after the rains made it all worthwhile.

This recent storm renewed hopes for El Nino weather next winter, and with it, drought relief. But let’s not go crazy, my fellow Angelenos, and revert to old practices of water consumption. We will need many more inches of rainfall in the right locations and for many more seasons before we can stop praying.

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