Rain was predicted last night but it hadn't come. Three year old Zach and I were by the bay watching the tide come in and one Great White Egret who caught three fish in about three minutes. Zach then became an egret, stepping carefully with high, slow, leaning steps through the grass. He never caught a fish, but didn't seem to care.
The sky was an amazing array of every kind of cloud, but the moon still shone last night and the stars.
I woke at one, hoping, maybe rain, tip-toed out as though to see if Santa had come. I opened the door and it was softly raining, so I stayed up and meditated from 1 to 3 in celebration. I rose at five and now I'm ready to head to Muir Woods for a scheduled walk with a friend. The rain is soft and the trees will shelter us. This is not a storm. We need more than this, and we are at the place like the people in one of Arthur C. Clarke's stories where they saw the sun so rarely it was a major celebration. We are now celebrating every drop of water that falls.
Here is an excerpt from the news in Bolinas, a nearby coastal town, in the SF Chronicle yesterday. It is written by Kelly Zito.
The oceanside enclave in Marin County has enacted some of the state's toughest water restrictions. Each customer - with the exception of schools and some businesses - may use no more than 150 gallons a day, about 4,500 gallons each month.
A third violation of the order would allow the Bolinas Community Public Utility District to cut off water.
Without drastic cutbacks, officials say, the community of 1,200 could run out of water by the end of April. The town on the southern end of the Point Reyes Peninsula already is drawing from two emergency reservoirs, one of which is effectively empty.
One look at the reservoir known as Woodrat II tells the tale. At this time of year, the town usually draws its water from the Arroyo Hondo Creek, leaving the reservoir full to the brim.
But with creek flows at a dribble, Bolinas started drawing from the reservoirs last year. Woodrat II's 40-foot-long banks now are dry and cracked. The water, which looks thick and sludgy, barely covers the outtake pipes. And storms forecast for this week aren't likely to boost water levels much.
"It's August out here," said Bill Pierce, chief water and wastewater operator for the utility district. "The hills are brown - they should be green. The stream flows are a trickle."
Almost every water agency in the state is suffering. Most reservoirs are at rock-bottom levels after two parched years and a third under way. Demand from cities has continued to grow, and recent environmental disputes have slashed pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which serves two-thirds of California.
Perhaps that helps you understand why I am so excited to look out and see rain.