Wednesday, June 28, 2006

a beautiful gift

I am a fifth-generation Californian. And I have never seen nor heard of weather like this year's. Today, however, on the 28th of June, for heaven's sake, it began to rain in the middle of the day. It was awesome. I bicycle my son to school when possible. I live in Atherton and his school is in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, so I was biking through the Menlo Oaks neighborhood, which is the nicest neighborhood in Menlo Park. Little drops began to twinkle down on me. "Did you feel that?" I called to a man walking down the road. "Yup," he yelled. "Wonderful!" As I bicycled, I held my arm up, palm flat, in the time-honored "it's raining" way. A truck coming up from behind me beeped a soft beep and the driver gave me the thumbs-up sign. And the next four cars were driven by people with huge smiles on their faces. This was a gentle summer shower. We just flat-out don't get those here. It felt like balm, like a gift. And even more like a gift were the shared grins, thumbs-up, and smiles with my fellow Americans. How long has it been since THAT happened, folks? We share far too few smiles, waves, and grins with our neighbors. It was great to have an excuse for them today.

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