I woke up last night to a sound I haven’t heard in what seems like a long, long time: rain. It startled me so much that I came fully awake, and was unable to fall back sleep for an hour afterwards, so happy was I to lie there and listen to the gusts and the gutters.

This morning dawned clear and sunny, with the world glistening and smelling like… what’s that smell? Wet earth? As I opened the door to step outside, coffee in hand, that magical, heady perfume hit me full force. Everything just looks and smells better with rain.

See, for a Californian, the return of the rainy season is a sacred and wonderful thing. Even though I’m about as civilized as it gets, I still felt a primeval joy at hearing the life-giving water hit the warm, snug (for now) roof over my head. As the long and early fire season showed, this has been an extremely dry year, so early rain is a good, good thing.

Sure, it’ll get really old by January or February. But for now, it’s new and refreshing, and just about the only sign of season change that we get around here. So bring on the rain.