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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Desert Rain


Everyone else is doing a Mother's Day post, so I think I'll pass!

Instead, think of rain on the desert. Have you ever seen it?

It starts with a few cumulus clouds in an otherwise clear sky, bellies a warm gray, tops shining white. They drift slowly down the wind, and usually, out over the horizon.

But sometimes, they slow and foregather, like friends meeting along a small-town street. They reach out arms to touch one another, and in their quiet solidarity the sun loses, quite suddenly, much of its strength, and the air goes from bright hardness to a soft, thoughtful grey.

And then, the dance. Instead of moving off on their individual travels, together but separate, the clouds link arms and circle, their boot-shod countryman's feet sounding a bass tattoo of distant thunder. They circle and swirl, tossing their heads, and then bending down to peer at the ground below.

It's a male dance. Not a war dance, but not peaceful.

The first raindrops come, as the clouds arrived, very individually, aloof from one another. A drop here, and a drop there.

They sizzle through the air, racing one another to the ground, and make distinct craters in the sand.

More drops, and they begin to drop their reserve, falling in groups and associations. Some here, and others there, with stubborn loners pocking the sand between.

And then the plunge, as the clouds pull lighting from their cloaks, white-heat cooled by hardworking drops. The ground rises and shimmers under their arrival, and the sage rattles happily.

The dance moves off down the lane, and a few drops linger, to make sure that the sand and sage won't feel lonely, too quickly.

The sun, now allowed back, promising to be mellow, gives a yellow glow to a transformed world. The sage glows, and the sand has the fresh smell, an a look of powdered sugar, brown and white mixed.

Lightning flashes in the distance. Farewell, friends, for now.

I like rain in the desert

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