Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The monsoon season continued to disappoint for the better part of two months. Oh, sure, clouds built up and danced around and even sometimes flashed lightning and growled thunder somewhere just out of reach, but the promised rain materialized exactly three times. Even then it didn't have the courtesy to put on a show during daylight hours when we might be able to watch the clouds with rising anticipation, waiting for the telltale gust of suddenly cool wind to cue the rain out of the wings and dance across the desert stage.

No, no, always at night, and usually in such wee hours that we were sound asleep and couldn't be roused to at least hear the water and hail tapdancing on the roof. Three summer mornings we awoke to sodden ground, crumpled programs of downed palm leaves and moraines of mesquite pods left by the rivulets of water across the yard like so much spilled popcorn kicked aside by the audience as it left, the curtain down, the show long over.

Until today. Today, finally, gloriously, afternoon clouds flung lightning to the ground close enough to knock out the power to the office, thunder rattled the windows before skidding off to the east along the curb of the Catalinas, rain slammed down in drops the size of bullfrog tadpoles. You want rain? I got yer rain right here. Rain rain rain, going on for hours now, the initial downpour replaced by steady sprinkles. The trash cans in the park down the street are all on their sides, dazed, accompanied by slightly less surprised tree branches; closer to home, my shovels have been blown across the yard, along with my buckets. Stacks of styrofoam cups that protected plants from the frost a lifetime ago, back when it still dipped below a hundred degrees here, have found new lodgings in the flower bed, the fence, the chiminea, possibly the neighbor's roof. The yard is a lake.

This is usually the time of year that the monsoon winds down, and after months of the near-daily routine of heat --> humidity --> clouds --> thunder --> SPLOOSH, we're usually about ready by now for it to be over. I wonder if it is still almost over this year, now that feels like it's just begun.

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