I love it when it rains in Southern California. Not much discussion is given to the fact that the home to Tinseltown and Disneyland is in fact, the desert. Those who live here are aware, though. We regularly contend with drought conditions and runaway fires that have turned our beloved golden state into a crispy state. It is because of these things that I get so excited when the forecast predicts a possibility of rain that is greater than 20%. In the last couple of weeks, the weather has cooled a lot and rain has been a welcome (by some) occurrence. As much as I love the cool and melodic rain showers, it is what happens after the rain that really inspires me. It’s as if the view to the landscape has been sprayed with window cleaner and then squeegee’d clear. Southern California is as eclectic in its landscape as it is diverse in cultures. In the cooler months of the year, the snow-topped mountains serve as the backdrop to skyscrapers and a lanyard of freeways that encircle the area. After the rain, everything is so bright and crisp.

Everything just seems better after a generous rain. The air is fresher, colors appear brighter and even the trees and plant life awaken. Rain is so special that it is able to accomplish things that nothing else can. We water our lawns regularly to keep them healthy and verdant but nothing compares to the shade of green they become after a shower.  The rain does more than quench. It refreshes.

A refreshing of a different kind has begun with winter’s official arrival. The shorter days, cooler temperatures and holidays are all part of nature’s perfect formula. Every year at this time, we’re given another chance to slow down and cool off. We have arrived at that point. After our greatly anticipated holiday celebrations, we race home to put on whatever feels most comfortable and do whatever we find comforting. We hibernate, which isn’t a bad thing.  Hibernation is a survival tool. It is a natural response to the shorter and colder days which prepares us for more active or hectic times. This slower and more cloistered season is perfect for rest, reflection and planning. It is our own gift of refreshing.  Much like the rainfall that cleans and clears, this time of year can provide an oft, much-needed revitalization.

As we begin the countdown to a new year, take full advantage of this season. I know many of us are already declaring resolutions and bemoaning the tax preparation commercials that we’ll soon start to see but STOP! Hibernate a little longer. Bask in the joy of this season. Wrap yourself up in the warmth of something wonderful.  Rest in the accomplishments of this year. When it is time to rejoin the masses, we can do it knowing that we are ready. We will be prepared because will we be refreshed.

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind brace us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

—John Ruskin

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The Playgroundthe Refreshing