Saturday, July 01, 2006


I used to think that monsoons only occurred in far away lands with unpronounceable names. That belief changed when I moved to Arizona. Most of the year the wind brings our weather from the Pacific. But a change takes place in late June, early July. For then the wind comes wheeling out of the east, carrying the moisture of the Gulf of Mexico over the Sonoran Desert. Every desert dweller hopes for a good monsoon, one that brings enough rain, but not torrents of it in a few short minutes. Today the Double Barrel Ranch was blessed with a good monsoon. The thirsty earth responded to each drop with a whiff of perfume. It is hard to describe smell. But the desert smells good after a rain. Not the clean smell you'd expect, but something more primitive.

If you've never experienced the Sonoran Desert monsoon, you may think I'm being poetic. In summer it is like this: day after day we see the bright sun staring straight at us, with no water vapor in the way. Day after day we see high temperature records break. Wildfires seem to overwhelm we mere mortals. Then there is a rumble in the east. Some years later, some years earlier, but eventurally comes the rain. Monsoon. A holy word.

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