It is raining. I am feeling happy. My friends in the Midwest would probably not agree with me. Rain in the Midwest is an unwanted guest. It arrives at graduations, carefully planned weddings, summer BBQs and state fairs. I can’t count the time’s events were canceled and rescheduled when I lived in Michigan.
The lighting would cut the dark black sky in half and perform the most spectacular fireworks display. The thunder would shake the house until I was convinced the house was strong enough to last. Hurricanes in Japan scared me the most. The rain beat against the outside aluminum doors used to protect the windows from getting broken. The sky would turn a very dark color, and a strong wind began to blow. The house would shake back and forth, and I would hide under the blankets. I never knew if we were going to escape these storms. We always did. I was born a desert rat.
My husband was fascinated with the weather. He would stand out on the patio while I pleaded for him to come in. I didn’t want him to get hit by a bolt of lighting.
I obtained a whole new vocabulary of weather terms while living in Michigan: black ice, whiteouts, lake effect snow, blizzards, tornados, and gustnados (a term invented by the insurance companies so they wouldn’t have to pay for damages).
I moved back to Phoenix, AZ after living away for more than 42 years. We have monsoons, dust storms, haboobs (a word taken from the Arabic language meaning powerful dust storm), and flash flooding.
Phoenicians don’t know what to do when it rains. They slow down on the freeways or speed up on the local streets. The rain causes flooding in the desert. There is nowhere for the water to go. Washes are constructed with river rock to guide the water to run off into various valleys of the desert instead of the streets.
Signs are posted everywhere warning drivers not to drive in areas when it rains. People don’t read the signs. Many natives and visitors are not aware of the dangers rain causes in the desert areas. They drive past signs warning them not to operate in this area when flooded. They end up in ditches or dips in the roads that have flooded. They get stuck in the sand and water and have to be rescued.
I am happy for the rain because it makes the flowers bloom and the other plants to multiply. The desert is beautiful after the storm. The smell of the wet dirt, howls of coyotes, and the sound of chirping birds. Rain in the desert is a welcome relief of the constant heat we have felt for the last six months.
Bring on the rain!