In a dry land water is like gold. Men fight over it. Monuments are erected to it. Great fortunes are made and lost over it. Who has water. Who doesn't. That is what's important. For me, water is a season. It is when the perpetual currents of the Pacific change course, bringing winds from the north and rain. Rain dripping from roof eaves steadily through the night. Rain sifting gently down through curtains of silvery grey. Rain whipped into frenzied tarantellas, dashing into windows and whirling across freeways. Rain that softens the cracked adobe hills and germinates wild grasses and poppies. That refreshes the exhausted rivers and flushes the salty debris from coastal bays. It is the only rest the land gets from almost ceaseless sun. And impells us to pause in our ceaseless activity. One year, the rain did not come. The years droned on without letup, without season. Water became scarce and dear. Men fought over it. Fortunes teetered. The concrete monuments baked in the sun like pyramids. This year, the rainy season returned. Rare storms pulsed across the coastal hills and the air turned liquid. It rained until the earth was full and then rained more. The pale adobe swelled and blackened. Trees glistened. Seedlings launched skyward. In my yard, an empty clay pot filled with rain. I went out and stared into it with satisfaction. A bowl of rain. A bowl of diamonds could not be finer.