I was driving home yesterevening in some pretty unusual weather -- hot yet cloudy through most of the day, partly dry and partly humid -- when I noticed, some distance ahead, what looked like extremely localized pockets of rain. The sinking sun was selectively lighting up the clouds in the northwestern sky and making the precipitation stand out. The rest of the sky was mostly clear, though. Odd.
When rain fell from a clear sky I understand people in parts of the western world used to say the Devil was beating his wife, and the rain was her tears.
I recently learned that in Korea, people used to say of the same phenomenon that a magical creature, the fabled nine-tailed fox of folklore, must be crying. How do I know? I've been watching the K-drama, 'My Girlfriend, the Nine-Tailed Fox' 내여자친구는 구미호-- a fantasy about a likable slacker dude who acquires a beautiful girlfriend, unaware that she is in reality a 500-year old magic fox. With nine tails. Which she keeps hidden when in human form.
On the show, whenever she feels sad and cries (mostly due to the guy's thoughtless behavior -- it seems that, despite being so old and powerful, she's an amateur when it comes to the emotional complexities of life as a human), it begins to rain, no matter that the sky was perfectly clear a moment before.
Anyway, as I neared the glowing columns, some drops of rain did hit the windshield, so I guess I was right about the localized rain. But as I continued driving along the 101 freeway and neared the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral (which occupies a commanding position overlooking the freeway), I noticed something which quite stood out, and made me stare:
O.K., I didn't exactly break out in a cold sweat, but really, with its elongate shape it was pretty striking -- it almost looked like a soaring lick of flame in the sky. And not only that, with a little imagination you can see a standing female figure there, clad in a robe/veil(/burqa?^), above (perhaps standing /riding on) whatever the other thing is (which looks to me like a dove!). There is even a faint hint of a nimbus behind 'her' head. And considering the proximity of the cathedral, I daresay there are people who would not hesitate to say that, that column of floating waters/fox tears/mystical flame, was actually the sign of a 'presence' hovering over the cathedral. I love it!