I was exhausted, but the day had been productive; there was nothing in particular to wake up for in the morning, except for perhaps more chores, more tasks and more productivity if I felt like opting for such a thing. My body ached, so I promptly befriended two Advil PM and crawled into bed. The heaviness of my extra blanket seemed to push me further into the mattress, even though the night didn’t really require additional warmth.

Within seconds, I realized I forgot to turn on my fan and fill the bedroom with my beloved white noise. I didn’t feel like getting up since I was already cozy and settled in, but I knew I should. I’d cracked the French doors to the patio ever so slightly, and I could hear the sounds of the night outside: a bird up past its bedtime and some background ambience, courtesy of crickets and the rustling of leaves in the trees. Inevitably, however, a siren would pass through the night and mess up some perfectly sound sleep. This is, after all, Anaheim.

And then I realized that the white noise wasn’t necessary — at least not at that moment. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing, but it was definitely something more than the sounds of the night. It was also the sound of the heavens.

The rain fell gently, but steadily. The weather report earlier in the day said that a shower or two would be possible in higher elevations, but here it was, raining in the flatlands.

Drifting closer to sleep, I thought back to the day as best I could. It had been unseasonally warm; moisture in the air gave the evening a distinct smell. It reminded me of summers in Michigan, where balmy storms could be predicted by the nose and where your skin felt like it was being bombarded by millions of tiny water droplets the moment you stepped outside. The sky had been every shade of gray all day long, only it wasn’t an indicator of cool February weather. It was indicative of a system making its way up from Mexico. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was so surprised that it was raining.

The rain grew louder as it increased in intensity; the patio roof was acting as a megaphone of sorts. I don’t know how long I listened to it, but it couldn’t have been for very long. The next thing I knew, it was 4am and I was getting up to shut the patio doors and turn the fan on. A siren in the distance had woken me up.

Sometimes the unexpected, though it can catch you off guard, can be the most beautiful. Often times there are signs along the way that speak of its arrival, but we write them off and assume it will pass us by. But when it doesn’t — when we can see it for what it is, identify the beauty in it and maybe even let it lull us to sleep — it gives us moments to be thankful for.

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