Fire and Rain

It’s been raining on and off today and yesterday, and I for one am rejoicing. It gives me great satisfaction watching the puddles grow and the gutters flow. An English buddy of mine thinks I’m crazy, but then he hasn’t lived through a decade of drought either. Malibu, if you haven’t heard, is the home of the year-round fire season. The canyons that make up 3/4 of the city’s real estate are essentially tinder boxes and every year we live in fear of the hated Santa Ana winds, the hot, dry and merciless hell’s breath that rakes us over several weeks a year, usually in late October. This past year was an exception. We got hit twice, once in October where we lost 21 homes, and then again in November when another 58 dwellings were reduced to heaps of ash. It’s an ever present spectre, fire. I know several people who’ve lost their homes in the recent conflagration, and several more who suffered from the Great Blaze of ’94. Yet they all want to or have rebuilt, usually on the exact same plot of land. I’m fortunate to be on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway, on Point Dume. We’re reasonably far from the major burn areas, yet we were still told to evacuate during the last episode. Your confidence is greatly shaken when you find your roof, lawn and cars covered in a layer of ash, and the sky is dark gray with smoke.

So you can say that rain for Malibu is a major blessing. I can sit at a window and just watch it for hours. Really. It’s that surreal to me. And I love when our hills turn verdant and green, if only for a month or two. Looks like the coast of Ireland, with lots of mansions thrown in for effect.

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