Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Rain

It keeps coming. All day yesterday, all night, and still this morning--with no sign of letting up. The weather forecast says it will continue all day tomorrow. I cannot remember such an event here in Southern California.

I notice that the rain brings out the worry-er in me. I worry about leaks. We ventured out yesterday to check on Ellie's studio down in what used to be the garage. Long-time readers will recall that we have had floods down there in the past, and that our contractor has come up with a variety of solutions. The sump pump seems to be working. We hear it kick in regularly as the pit fills with water; it pumps the excess out from under the house and spews it down the brick steps out in front. So that's fine.

The other problem has been the leakage from the back of the studio. It drains down underground from the back patio and seeps out through the packed dirt that supports the pump for the jacuzzi. Our contractor, most recently, laid a concrete floor and a drain that should have directed the water down to the street, but yesterday we noticed a small amount of seepage circumventing the concrete and gathering at the far end of the studio floor. I cleaned out some mud from around the drain last night, but am worried that the contractor's fix is not working as we had hoped. I have yet to go down this morning to check things out.

My big concern is that the water is eating away at the dirt foundation below the patio (see yesterday's picture) and that the whole substructure will eventually give way. So the rain gives me something to worry about, and my mind has a field day with the worry. I feel the physical effects in the gut, where they seem to gnaw at the stomach lining from the inside. Behind this is the mental preoccupation, a constant low-grade fear that something is not quite right, that something terrible is about to happen.

(Have you heard of the ARkStorm disaster scenario--so named after Noah's mythical vessel? Something else for Californians to worry about, next to the Big One. It's literally an airborne atmospheric river driving across the Pacific from the west, an unstoppable flow of rainstorms that could cause as much damage as a San Andreas earthquake--more, in fact, according to seismic and geophysical expert Dr. Lucy Jones of CalTech, whom we saw interviewed yesterday in the course of a television weather report. The last such event was in 1861-62, when it rained for 45 consecutive days. The next ARkStorm could happen any time...)

So this morning's sit was about the worry. In fact, it was the worry. I spent the entire time trying to identify it, recognize it for what it was, acknowledge that there was nothing I could do about it at that moment, and bring the attention back to the breath. With the sound of the rain drumming down on the roof, the water flooding down the hill outside, the sump pump gearing up to do its work, that was no small task...

No comments: