A Desert Rain

Date:                           December 23, 2010


Location:                    Tucson, AZ




            What do you do in the desert for the holidays?  This may be a question that some of you might ask yourself, or then again you may not.  This is not now nor has it ever been a question that Connie and I have had to ask ourselves.  We have not had enough free time to worry about being bored.  In the last couple of days we have been experiencing a rather rare occurrence in the dessert.  It has actually rained.  Our pristine clear blue skies filled with lavish sunshine has been, temporarily, replaced with skies laden with clouds and dark ominous weather fronts as they march across the southern portions of Arizona.


            I am not even thinking of asking for anyone’s sympathy.  I am not sure I even would want it if it was available.  I do not have frigid north winds blowing up my trousers, and I can walk on the real earth and not inches or feet of frozen moisture.  I may complain that I am getting a chill because it is only going to reach the high 60’s today but I know that by Christmas our thermometer will, again, be knocking on the door of 80 degrees. The only place we have a freezing temperatures is where we store our ice cubes, as it should be.


            I don’t relate this information to complain or gloat.  It is just how it is in the desert this winter.  The weather has been just as wonderful as we might have wished and on the day or two when Mother Nature decided to sprinkle a little contrast into our lives it was memorable in its rarity.  Rain is a little bit strange in the desert.  The drops seem to be a lot bigger and I think a few of the smaller examples of moisture never make it to the ground. They seem to be falling from the rare clouds that dot the heavens, but they never seem to reach the ground.  It is as if they dry up on the way down.  This can produce some very majestic views.  In one direction you see foreboding dark vessels of storms creeping over the tall jagged mountains that ring the valley we are located within, and as you turn to view the other side of the large valley you might see bright sunlight or at least lighter clouds that are allowing shafts of glistening sunlight to beam to the desert floor.  You know that you are in for a horrendous storm as you watch the dramatic portending purveyors of rain approach, and yet on a slightly different horizon you see the beauty of glistening sunlight breaking through the weather and warming the floor of the valley in which you are incased.


            Before you can decide which way to go, either toward the storm to enjoy a winter rain in the desert, or toward the light to protect your now dry being,the clouds seem to blow over head.  You may feel one or two very large drops of water and you might even feel a dampness in you clothing, but the storm has passed and you begin to wonder just what storm it was you were watching.  You are left only with the beauty of rugged mountains, again, being revealed by the clouds as they move on past our little section of the desert.  You are also left with the clear air charged with ozone and the smell of freshness so enjoyed after a spring rain.

            This is not to say that desert rain storms can not be destructive and traumatic.  The news media is full of stories of devesitation.  But, in Tucson this Christmas season we have been entertained with beauty and pleasures of a desert rain event that was more event and a lot less rain.  It has not rained long enough to even put us in a mood of depression.  It had been, instead, a moment or instant of reflection.  A time to catch our breath and recheck our social calendar and even try to get caught up on some of the “todo” things we have been postponing.  Into each life a little rain must fall and in Tucson this week that was a very little.  Rather than letting it dampen our sprits it has whetted our appetite for the beauty presented to us by Mother Nature as we sit in the desert this holiday season.  What is there to do in the desert?  If nothing else just look out your window as you rest in the desert or over your shoulder as you stroll through the desert and enjoy the display that Mother Nature is painting for your pleasures.


Happy Holidays

Stay warm; Stay dry; and Stay in touch with those that have touched you.