A gentle spring rain began falling on Santa Rosa late this afternoon. It had been overcast all day, damp, threatening. Weeks of glorious California sunshine had to give way eventually to nature's need for balance.
We can never afford to take our nearly perfect climate for granted, nor should we.
We don't get the variety of conditions that other areas can count on. Ordinarily there's little to be gained by following the weather news between April and November.
We can plan our picnics weeks ahead of time without having to think of contingencies, just in case. There is no "just in case." There's only sun, with a few clouds now and then.
Even the cloudy days are pleasant, a relief from the heat. We call it our natural air conditioning, here under the aegis of the mighty Pacific. We are subject to her whim, but she is a merciful ruler.
Tonight, as the hills are in their annual makeover to the golden hue celebrated in song, nature has decided to keep the green for a while longer, and sweeten the air in the bargain.
We live in a land without extremes. No blistering heat lingers for days on end in the summer. Snow is a novelty here, a few flakes every few years.
It's a place where a spot of rain the first week in June is a pleasing diversion, an evening's entertainment. We don't depend on it, but neither do we shun it, since the sun will faithfully reappear.
We have no need to doubt that simple fact. Within a day or two, the sun will come back and continue the task, interrupted but briefly, of turning our hills from green to gold.
That much we can count on.
This we can afford to take for granted.