I am not one for surprises, being a bit of a (Virgo) control freak. But today’s surprise was wonderful. Today’s surprise was being nudged out of my dance study by the distant sound of thunder. I looked up, head to one side, listening again. Yes, distant thunder! I pushed aside the blinds, and saw CLOUDS!
For those not in the know, I live in the Sonoran Desert, in Arizona. We have been in the middle of what the Natives here call “dry summer”. As in, I don’t really remember when it last rained. We have a monsoon season here, and it officially began a couple of days ago, but nary a cloud in sight.
Today, those thunder clouds crept over the top of Mt. Lemmon and unleashed on our little town. Ahhh!
First, it was the high winds swooping the smell of rain down to our sun baked, crunchy yard. The mesquites rustled with the sound that maple trees make in the fall. The birds silently sped back and forth through the wind, securing spots in the cactus, shrubs and trees before the storm hit. Quail families ran for cover in the brush. Little ground squirrels threw caution to the wind and sprinted out over the wide open yard space to get to their burrows, recklessly popping up on their hind legs with their little black noses to the wind, smelling the air. Magically, as if it was all perfectly orchestrated, animals fell still and silent as the last big gust of wind blew in the first raindrops. They hit the dry earth in a little clouds of dust, sending up the smell of a parched land.
The rain came faster, and harder, along with the wind, lightening, and thunder. It was cold, the rain, but it felt wonderful. At least until the hail came with it. That made me and the dogs run for cover, but made the teenagers grab towels and go running outside in the deluge. They screamed delightedly about getting pelted by ice, and about how cold the rain felt and how the ground was still hot under their feet.
The so called seasons here in the Sonoran Desert are not like our more temperate regions; they are subtle. They often remind me of a shy bride, barely a girl, who revels herself little by little as she comes more completely into her own. There are little hints of her nature, and she builds into her season with more evidence of her unveiling.
The tension builds while waiting for monsoon season. The subtle season shifts create an equally subtle impatience. Subconsciously, the dry season has been getting to me. I feel less alert. I have a harder time completing thoughts, projects, and ideas. I doubt more, fear more, question more. I start questioning the possibilities, even as I fervently plug away at positive thinking. I feel lazy; exercise seems more like a chore. Irritation prickles my words and actions.
But that first whoosh of air that carries the smell of desert rain…oh my, how intoxicating it is! It whips the veil of negativity right off me, it blows the frown off my brow and stretches the smile across my face. It inspires me to lift my hands in gratitude to feel the first raindrops, which I then press into the skin of my face and stroke over my hair. Like the desert toad in torpor who feels the faint rumblings of the rain hitting the ground, I feel compelled to dig my way through my obstacles, feel called to just push past my own limitations. To come to the earth’s skin just waiting to make a connection, and feed on the earth’s bounty, treating everyday like it might be the last…
It is always like this; I have been inspired before. The monsoons are truly magic, for they add life giving water to a dry land, which in turn comes alive with new growth, new creatures, new bounty.
Today, and in days prior, I have been nearly paralyzed by nervous fear, for I am starting my new dance classes this Monday. I am technically not ready. My movement is not completely set or rehearsed, my music is not fully synced. I am petrified my CD won’t work. I am afraid I will choke. I have felt a lack of juicy energy around my own inspired creation, because of the fear.
But just like that, the rains came. I felt renewed, and in that sense, I decided to wing it. Fly free like a bird before a storm and KNOW I will land in just the right spot. I am clearing my own path, digging deep past my own obstacles. I will make connections and watch women transform into mothers, as they bring forth their new, amazing creatures. What an honor, to witness this bounty of empowerment, right before my very eyes.
With gratitude, I will lift my hands and receive these moments, and press them to my heart.