The flames of the sun licked the dry valley. The earth was scorched. The deep purples, tangy oranges, blood reds and cheerful yellows of spring wildflowers has long since wilted and crumbled away. The rivers and washes, sapped of moisture, reduced to sandy beds. Everything was a dusty green or dirty yellow.
These are the months of of July and August. These are the hottest, most humid, sweatiest, unbearable months that ever grazed Southern Arizona. But these were the days we lived for. This was when the earth gave it’s greatest gift.
In that dry desert, devoid of green and water, we waiting expectantly for the gift. To escape the inevitable heat, we flocked to our air conditioned houses, pools, and shade. Our mouths were dry, our lips cracked like canyons. Gone was the lovely dry heat, and with the clouds came the humidity. It clung to our skin like a sticky, damp blanket.
The dry earth called to the soulful blue of the sky, but the response? Useless clouds. How I hated those clouds. White as stars, puffed up in all their emptiness they floated by.
The sun grew even more oppressive. It parched our throats, set fire to our skin, and scorched the land. But even that mighty giant was was defeated by the oncoming clouds. The earth burned. A spark of hope ignited.
I was swimming when it came. It happened in four stages:
First, It started with an ever darkening shadow on the horizon. It was a deep, powerful, purple. Like a tide it was going to wash over the sky. I checked to see which way the wind was blowing. Blowing straight toward us. A heart started to beat rapidly, and I fought to oppress it. But the shadow loomed closer.
Second, was the smell. To one who has never experienced it can never truly understand, but I will do my best to explain. It is an earthy smell, rich and damp. It is the smell of the desert dust being drenched. I breathed in deeply and savored the scent. It was coming.
Third, Came the wind. It instantly picked up into a howling tempests. Trees bent from their lofty heights. It was cool, refreshing, and energetic. Leaves swirled and danced along to the strange, wild song. Gone was the oppression of the heat, and I was left in the freedom of the wind.
Fourth, the booming cannons. They sounded with the shadow. They at first were distant; then they were everywhere, rattling the earth. Everything trembled joyfully at the sound.
Then, it was all around me. The dark wave of shadow washed over the sky. The grays, blacks and purples of the clouds stung against the mountains. The wind wiped around me embracing me, toyed with my hair, and stung my cheeks. The air buzzed with static energy.
Then a brilliant flash. It was as if a giant, jagged, blinding spear was thrust down from the heavens. It lit up the darkness for a glorious moment, then was gone. Then the cannons struck again-the Thunder echoed in my bones. It was terrifyingly loud and awful. It seemed to consume me, and filled the entire valley. My ears throbbed, and my
I stood staring upward, expectedly, hopefully. A single, precious drop of liquid sky fell to the dry earth. For a single second, all was still, all was reverent at this precious gift, this miracle. Then the heavens opened, and a mighty precession spilled out.
I danced in the rain. The drops pelted my skin, and left me dripping to the bone. They were like cool, wet kisses from the heavens. I laughed to the sky. Joy swelled in my soul. The gift had come at last. The Monsoon.