It all starts with that iconic music written by Bernard Herrmann followed by the voice of Rod Serling:

“You’re traveling through another dimension – a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. You unlock this door with the key of imagination. That’s a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!” “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into … the Twilight Zone.” “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call ‘The Twilight Zone.’”  

While there were a few different openings for the episodes they all led to “The Twilight Zone.”

It is rare that this type of dialogue becomes part of our society with these levels of insight and intellect. For years, the Syfy Channel held its New Year’s Day Twilight Zone Marathon and what amazes me is although I have seen every episode so many times each year they mean something more profound.

From the first episode “Where is Everybody?” the writing staff and Serling showed us a way to see society … and sent us warnings. The first episode dealt with a man who found himself alone. He was isolated and at the end of the episode it was revealed that it was a military exercise (no surprise). The military superiors spoke about why the subject broke down stating the one thing humans cannot overcome is “man’s hunger for companionship,” that we can’t get past “the barrier of loneliness.”

This year it meant something different to me. It reminded me of what we are all still dealing with in the aftermath of isolation from COVID.

“The Twilight Zone” episodes deal with everything from the consequences of artificial intelligence to addiction. “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” showed us how fragile society is with just a few “what if” words from neighbors. There was no social media at the time but the same functions of hearsay, misinformation and blame-shifting that we see on Maple Street can be found across Twitter today, speaking to the timelessness and truth of the human condition found in that episode. 

The Earth and other planets also played a starring role in many episodes. Space travelers would explore new planets, always carrying with them their assumptions but not the knowledge of history and what they had done to the Earth.

Of course “The Midnight Sun” is a great episode of how the weather can affect the mind, but “The Jungle,” aired in 1959, was a warning of what happens if we ignore the spiritual Earth.

In “The Jungle,” a company was drilling into an African people’s sacred land. It was warned by the people but, in full corporate style, the company ignored the warnings. The focus may have been on the characters’ payback being magical, but it was a lesson of what happens when society ignores those who protect the Earth. And ignoring or disbelieving the consequences does not change their arrival.

The entire State of California will have significant impacts from the storm that hit last night and continues today, according to David Sweet, NOAA meteorologist.

A cold front in addition to a powerful rain system is expected to arrive in the middle of the night between Wednesday and the early morning hours of today, Thursday, with the peak rain expected about 6 a.m. This will, of course, affect the commute.

“We are expecting very heavy rain. The rainfall totals are expected to be two to four inches in the lower elevations to four to eight inches in the mountains with the highest rainfalls on the south facing slopes,” Sweet said.

In addition there will be strong winds with gusts up to 40 to 50 miles per hour.

“Put those things together and you get quite a few significant impacts,” he said.

There is concern for flooding in the burned areas in Duarte and Lake Hughes.

At its peak half an inch to an inch per hour of rainfall is expected.

The coastal waters will be affected by this powerful storm as well with very large sea swells in Ventura and LA County resulting in high surf warnings being issued. LA County will see eight to 12 foot breaking waves and Ventura is expecting 12 to 16 foot waves. There is also a chance of coastal flooding that could affect beach walkways and parking lots; however, no structures are threatened.

It won’t dry out until Friday but another storm is expected on Sunday with light-to-moderate rain, and then on Monday and Tuesday there is another possible heavy storm equal to today’s storm.