Raindrops pattered against the rooftop. They dropped to the ground, bounced and splattered. The tree branches on the road sides were bending down heavily, now that the leaves were saturated with water. As a matter of fact, everything in the open air looked soaked after five days’ rain in a row. The parched land was finally relieved.
Last weekend saw my shopping spree as I was preparing for the trip to China. Around 10 am in the morning last Saturday, I was heading to an outlet, hoping that it is an early bird that gets the parking spot. When I entered the highway, the rain started pouring. The cars, stuck on the congested highway, were not moving. I changed my mind and crawled out of freeway in the next exit. Habitually, I went to the nearby Costco, to fill the gas first. The line was long, even in such a bad weather. I waited patiently inside the car with the radio on, watching the windshield wiping off the water from the blurring window. When it was my turn, I had to tiptoe onto the flooded ground, careful not to wet my Nike shoes. Then, I joined the crowd at Costco, looking here and there in search of right gifts.
I went back home for a simple lunch and a short nap before I resumed my morning attempt to an outlet. It was almost 4 pm. The sky was cleared a little bit; the parking lot was fully packed as in a typical weekend day. I circled around, waited for more than ten minutes before I finally got a parking space.
The shopping was continued on Sunday morning, when I drove to a mall to return a skin care product ordered online, and picked up an online order that was delivered to a store. It is a huge modern mall, largest in CA, full of high-end luxury stores. Ultra luxury brands such as Rolex, LV, Chloe and even Porsche Design shop can be found among them. Now, after the end of the holiday season comes the annual sales. The showy window displays were punctuated by eye-catching discount notices at the store entrances, wooing customers in for good deals. I passed by some stores, went in and out some others. Entrapped in this jungle-like maze, I felt a bit lost, lost in thought about the pleasure money can bring to people, and lost physically in direction. This is a world beyond me. Had it not been for the gifts, I would have enjoyed staying at home.
Getting out of the mall, I was greeted by the crisp air, warm sunlight and blue sky. Twenty minutes’ drive on the freeway led me to a familiar exit, ahead of which lie the rolling valleys. Tears suddenly swelled to my eyes when I saw the greenish color emerge from the sprawling barren tops. It is the recent rain that brought life back to the valley,a place we frequented every week for hiking in the past, a place that holds so dear to my heart.