Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday June 20th

The subtle shift in the weather has arrived in Tucson. The clouds are gathering over the mountains and the temperature is dropping in the evenings to declare that the monsoon season is approaching. There is nothing so beautiful as the smell of the rain on the desert. It is a sweet and earthy aroma that fills your soul with the belief that all can be reborn.

The desert waits so patiently for the rains and when it hits there is a burst of life that has no equal. I remember watching this National Geographic special on the desert when I was a kid and the time-lapse imagery of what a cactus does with all of the water is so cool. The pleats of the Barrel Cactus can be seen expanding as it drinks it fill, and all of the animal life comes out in full force.

I am waiting for that earthy aroma to fill my house. I am waiting to see the plants expand and the life of the desert renew itself for another season. I am waiting for that sound of the rain beating on the ground; it sounds like a steak grilling. I mean it, it actually does sound like that. Just close your eyes and listen to the sound of the water as it hits the pavement. You’ll be amazed! I am waiting to stand outside to be drenched with the first storm. I love it here when the rains come. I wait like a child in anticipation of Christmas Morning for the first lighting flash and the first crack of thunder. My eyes look to the mountains for any sign that the rains are coming and I see it gaining strength as each day passes and I long for that smell and those rains to come down from the distant hills.

There are the dangers that come with the monsoons; that is part of its allure for me. The flash floods are your biggest worry. My first season here was a real eye opener. A friend and I went hiking about a week after we had a huge rainstorm and we were climbing all over the damn and walking in the dry riverbed. As we got back onto the path we both heard a noise that neither of us had ever heard before. In an abstract way it sounded like a helicopter, but without the repetitive rhythm. About 30 seconds after that we saw a WALL of water come rushing down the riverbed from Mt. Lemon. (I think it was Mt. Lemon, that is what the Ranger told us!) Neither of us knew it could take a week for the waters to come. Well we know now and are much more cautious. A very eye opening moment!

Let the rains come; I am ready for them!

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