Labor Day is always bittersweet. The days are getting shorter, stores are trumpeting back-to-school sales, thoughts of homework, homeroom, and homesick are crowding little children’s minds, and summer weather is sliding into autumn. Here in Southern California our September and October can be as hot as June and July, so the “end of summer” usually hits in mid-October with the first rain of the season. Rain is a big event here, especially when you’ve had to wait five months for it, and usually in October or November everyone is ready for something, hopefully water, to fall from the sky and replenish our greenery and wash away the dust of summer.
Little did we expect that the first rain of the season would be on Labor Day itself. Come to Sunny San Diego! The summers are clear, sunny, but not too hot! Except when you’ve come for Labor Day weekend and it’s rainy and overcast!
I got up on Monday morning, stumbled bleary and confused into the living room after being prodded by Child Harbat to “make some breh-fast”, and saw raindrops in the pool. I stood for a moment wondering if a sprinkler were on, then it dawned on me that water was coming out of those grey things in the sky. Rain! After breh-fast I went outside and heard the booming timpani of thunder. Another shock, as the only rumbles we hear in the summer are jets on maneuvers at Miramar. Child Harbat joined me outside and the little droplets turned into an actual rain, and we were forced to retreat under the umbrella.
We made a dash for the front yard to look for rainbows and saw all our neighbors standing in front of their homes staring gape-mouthed up at the sky. Thunder! Rain! It was as unexpected as a parade of elephants ridden by fez-wearing chimpanzees parading down the street, and for the rest of the day, that night, and into today, it has been rainy and overcast. Doubting the credibility of measurable precipitation I watered all the plants, then it rained all night, Mother Nature telling me to chill the eff out, she got this. Now…back to reality. Though it seems portentous, a Labor Day rain doesn’t really signal the end of summer. This was an anomaly, and I’m sure we’ll be back to hot, dry, and clear. But it will feel forced, like saying goodbye to party guests then having to share a cab with them and make small talk. Though the weather of summer might return, the mood has changed.