Then come the summer rains. In good years there are almost daily downpours. The sky opens up about four-thirty and dumps for about an hour. Then glorious sunsets are reflected on the under surface of thick yet dissipating clouds. Sometimes the pink or golden glow extends all the way over your head to the eastern horizon. Stunning. Reward for staying with the lizards and braving the parched oven-blast air that slaps you as you emerge from an artificially cooled building.
We’re still waiting for those rains. Last weekend we got a little preview. In an effort to get out of the house, a friend and I went downtown and walked a couple blocks to our dinner destination through hot, somewhat heavy air that draped us like a burka. It was overcast so the sun was an eerie glow in the west and the slanted light was greyish gold. As we ate and chatted we noticed a rise in the mood of our fellow diners and looked outside. It was raining. Soon we emerged into the caress of lush air. Puddles created a cooling effect as we made our way to PorchFest, a first-time event in one of Tucson’s historic neighborhoods. We met a couple more friends and wandered from one porch to the next where musicians played mostly acoustic music. The little bit of water awakened desert neighborhood scents – creosote and cleveland sage, pigeon droppings and warm wet concrete. Music wafted in the luscious air along with the scents and the soft receding light. Really lovely.
Used by permission. http://www.touchwind.blogspot.com/
That was short-lived though. This week we’ve had a little bit of afternoon rain but for the most part it’s been about 106 outside and a little humid as the monsoon season builds. With the creeping humidity, I’m retreating. Shifting to a more internal life inside my house. There is a lot of reading. Many hours of reading. I keep the phone next to me on the off chance someone will call. I don’t want to have to get up from my chair.
Yet I have been slowly making progress on my house projects. These are the conditions I’m facing: I went out earlyish in the morning to measure my front square footage in preparation for ordering crushed rock cover, walking round the edges with a tape measure. It’s only about 400 square feet so we’re not talking a lot of time outside. I came back in and was fine for about a minute. And then sweat burst from my entire body. Which just perpetuates the desire to close the blinds, turn the air conditioning down a couple degrees and dive into a pool of words.
I know it is probably a lot more interesting for all of you if I get out and do things and then report back. But for now I’m kind of hibernating. I’ll let you know if anything dramatic happens. Like, I went outside. And survived.