When was the first time I was aware of rain? Surely, there were days in the first house when I was not allowed outside because of the rain, but I don't remember them. At school, kindergarten, first grade, I remember being kept in the classroom for lunch because of the rain. But, again, I don't have an image of the rain itself in my mind. And there must have been times when we were out, shopping in Alhambra or Los Angeles, when it began to rain. I don't remember them.
There are a few early images of rain in my mind, but which is the earliest, I don't know. I recall seeing rain on La Brea Avenue as I looked out the second floor window of our doctor's office. I recall looking out the window at the back of the house in the hills and seeing the water running along the base of the rock wall. And I remember one day, riding in the car along south Broadway, watching pedestrians rush for cover in a sudden downpour, and the traffic signals reflected in the wet pavement.
How old was I? Six, at least, if the memory from the house on the hill was earliest. Probably no more than five, if it was one of the others. I suppose that it isn't strange that I have lost any earlier memories of rain. Most of my memories fade out about that time. And I suppose there are people whose memories go back farther than mine, and probably many whose memories start much later. I suppose it is enough that the imprint of those experiences remain with me, remembered or not, making their contribution to the response I have to this rain tonight. They must have been enjoyable experiences. Listen to the downspout purr!