Thursday, July 27, 2017

   Earlier this month, as I sat in our coach in Bedrock City (in Valle, AZ) listening to raindrops tapping on the aluminum roof, it occurred to me that precipitation in the desert southwest is viewed very differently than on the coast where I am from. Even after years of drought in California the rains, when they finally came, were at best regarded as inconvenient and at worst, as a complete disaster. Granted, the central coast sustained devastating damage from the continual deluge this past winter, but it seemed like everyone looked right past the good points; our reservoirs were finally full and the central valley farmers could once again grow the crops that feed us all. 

But no, most of us grumped and grouched about the closed roads and longer drive times to work and shopping.
   Things are very different in the desert; the residents, both human and animal, view the rain in a very different light. They wait anxiously for the start of the summer monsoon season because they instinctively understand that rain is the harbinger of life in this arid region. Rain is the difference between a creek and a dry wash; the difference between a crop and dried-up stalks; the difference, quite literally, between life and death.

   The sound of thunder over the distant mountains and the sight of pillow-soft clouds rising up over the jagged peaks, forming into lavender colored thunderheads which slowly roll towards you across the valley; these are the sights and sounds that make a desert dweller's heart race just a little bit faster. People there watch the darkening skies in eager anticipation of the first few cool drops hitting the hot pavement with a hiss and sizzle; the sound of life returning to the dry earth.
   That smell of that first minute or two of cloudburst is something you will never forget. The air around you is charged with brimstone and the aroma of the rich red dust being kicked up by each individual raindrop as it hammers its way into the earth is the sweet damp smell of life itself. 
 Enjoy every day of it My Friends, for it is Life...rain or shine!


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