Los Angeles was blessed with rain again, the first of the spring season. It’s been awhile since I last enjoyed the rain’s ephemeral effects on the pace of the city. The sound of rain — especially its drumming in allegro rhythm against a window – triggers memories of my childhood fascination with storms. I’d sit by a window for long periods and watch a downpour empty the streets of people, leaving a sense of tranquil solitude in its wake.
I remain connected to rain in this way. When it arrives, I become a bystander, entranced as nature takes control and the city transforms. After a storm, the city is rewarded with a sense of renewal, brought on by the bright skies and clear views of distant mountains. I feel re-introduced to the city after a rain, and ready to engage with it once again.
I decided to capture the rain, but not utilizing rainwater harvesting as you might expect from a landscape architect. I set out to capture my sentiment about it through photography. I also discovered a poem by California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia which beautifully captures the sense of spiritual renewal emerging within us following a storm event. I end with his poem Los Angeles after the Rain.
Los Angeles after the Rain – by Dana Gioia
Back home again on one of those bright mornings
when the city wakes to find itself reborn.
The smog gone, the thundering storm
blown out to sea, birds
frantic in their joyous cacophony, and the mountains,
so long invisible in the haze,
newly rise with the sun.
It is a morning snatched from Paradise,
a vision of the desert brought to flower—
of Eve standing in her nakedness,
immortal Adam drunk with all
the gaudy colors of the world,
and each taste and touch, each
astounding pleasure still waiting to be named.
The city stirs and stretches
like a young man waking after love.
Sunlight stroking the skin and the
promiscuous wind whispering
“Seize the moment. Surrender to the air’s
irrefutable embrace. Trust me that today
even seduction leads to love.”
Too many voices overhead. Too many scents
commingle in the stark perfume
of green winter freshened by the rain.
This is no morning for decisions.
A day to ditch responsibility, look up
old friends, and dream
of quiet love, impossible resolutions.