Summer in Phoenix is almost magical. Don't let me fool you - during the day it's unbearably hot. Our limbs melt into the seats of the car, our feet burn from the sun reflecting off the blacktop. We're miserable most of the time. It sometimes makes me wonder WHO traveled through this valley and decided to STAY.
But Monsoons roll through here in the summer. The sky turns heavy and dark grey. The pressure builds and tension rises. And THEN the world is full of lightning, thunder and, if we're lucky, rain. This year we went more than a hundred days without rain. We live in perpetual sunshine, soaking up vitamin d like it's water. But it's not water. And we need water.
So when it rains, my heart settles into something comfortable. Relief. The rain is cool, but the air is warm and nothing smells like rain in the desert. Its musty, earthy and delicious. We open the windows and the doors just to fill the house with the smell of desert rain.
Last night the monsoon was almost scary. The wind was bending the trees in my backyard, shaking birds nests from their branches. Lighting turned our room into flashes of daylight. Thunder shook the upstairs windows. I laid in bed and watched powerful forces sweep through my desert. I fell asleep wondering if something would break, uproot or fly away. But when I woke up everything was the same. Except for the birds nest, and we scooped it up - my kids were so glad there weren't any tiny eggs.
Tonight it's raining and thundering. The desert is soaking up relief. This time it's gentle. I identify with this more than any other imagery in my life. I've always been in one spiritual desert or another - waiting out the long, dry, hot days. When relief comes it's just like a monsoon. Sometimes it comes raging in, uprooting old, weak things. But then it turns into a whisper. The clouds open up and sweet, desert rain washes off the dust. We stand under the downpour and drench ourselves with gratitude. It becomes a long, slow hallelujah.
We who have had enough, who have suffered and cried out and longed for respite, fling open our doors and windows, inviting in the scent of mercy.
Do you need mercy? The sky is brewing overhead, friend. The desert can't stay barren forever. Hold on.