It Rained All Night

Such a commonplace event, rain. Unless you live in the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico’s southwest where we’ve had no real rain since February when we had a day of windy-wet weather.

What resulted from a faraway “tropical depression” caused exultation here. A mothering rain fell all night. I woke at 3:30 a.m. to the gentle pulsing flow, swinging my legs from bed & rising with an energy I haven’t felt so far this summer.

I had left the doors & windows open, hoping for a breeze from Turtleback to breathe through & dissipate the built-up heat. To my delight, the chimes slowly named their notes from the yard pole as the rain began. The soothing sound of its fall, the distinctive aromatherapy of a desert releasing heat & sponging in moisture brought me straight downstairs to sit by the door.

The sun is a force of nature here. I joke the heat from the Trinity site (Alamogordo’s first atomic bomb) has revisited us since exiting outside is slowed by a solid wall of heat that stops all progress. I’ve lived here for years-at-a-time twice before, but this third time is exacting quite a struggle to stay cool.

Since I came from Delaware most recently, my memories are of north-facing French doors being sluiced by nor’easters, days & nights of drumroll rain, pouring water, bouncing drops, gusty winds all contributing to zipping up my Maine rain jacket & tying the hood tightly. The rain tossed itself against windows like someone outside was flinging buckets one after the other. Umbrellas were fruitless, turned inside out after two steps.

In T or C this year, the sun is different, intensified into a kind of microwave heat, immediately igniting the skin & clutching the lungs. Sometimes, I want to ask it what I did, it seems a personal affront when temps rush to 107 or 110 of a day.

It’s heavenly to wake to this gentle sound & sit by the screen to inhale moisture. The form & force of recent weather here has been argumentative & I’m so not in the mood.

This steady drizzle is an arpeggio after the crashing cymbal clang of relentless, raw, unnaturally white light. It is grace, softly miraculous, growing my sense of joy in the breaking morning. It’s a prayer answered, one from the people & the land together.

My poor garden fell victim to the unyielding heat. My water bill soared; I brought the containers to the local community garden with a sign saying “Adopt Me’ stapled to each. Many this morning will be offering gratitude that they need not uncoil the hose today & stand outside to relieve the powerful daily thirst of anything green-growing.

An uncomplicated enough phenomenon, this rain. I bow my head & accept heart’s-ease to its simplicity.

Rain

4/28-29/17

The rain woke me after midnight. This is the first rain since I’ve been here, just over a month now. I thought at first it was leaves tapping against the concrete walkway outside. I thought, “more sweeping to do” as I’ve swept every day, sometimes twice to keep the walk clear. Saves the heavier work of vacuuming what is tracked or blown in the door.

As I surfaced from full sleep, I realized there could be no leaves this crispy in spring…

This rain is tentative but steady, tap-tapping on the metal roof. I climb from bed to make a cup of chai, and return to cover up & sip it. And listen, cup in one hand, pen in the other. The heavy curtains belly out with that distinctive fragrance: Rain In The Desert. The Balinese cow bell serving as my doorbell sounds quietly, announcing a soft gusting accompaniment of breeze.

(In the desert, the smell of moisture precedes it, distinct & heady from the usual baked-sand scent. This rain will help to settle some of the dust raised by the highway department lately on a mission to dump yet more dirt. This seems to me an exercise in futility since dirt is hardly scarce here & quite abundantly distributed. But with their arcane signage & the unexplained descent of men in orange vests driving orange earthmovers, there is nothing to do but obey the “stop” & “go” of their outriders.  I question their purpose & their presence, especially when they leave the soil on the roadway – the one place it was not before their unexplained project. Are they burying us in more?)

When I thought the rain had passed by & started to doze again, another mild volley begins. I can feel the trees outside expanding, the weeds under them reaching out for sustenance. Are there others brewing tea & returning to cover up their legs in bed, just listening to the fall? A rare & delightful sound, a “joyful noise.” Who else in town lies awake scenting this perfume of suspended water falling on a dry world? More than I know? Fewer than I think?

Geoengineering has upended the weather patterns. The changes in Mother Nature herself wing out from that foul ruination of climate integrity. As the sun rolls from yellow to white & the clocks continue a relentless march forward, tonight’s quiet cleansing gentles the planet: rhythmic, soulful, fragrant, musical.

I pull the covers up to my ears & return to sleep, listening to the lullaby.