The longing had been building like those clouds on the horizon. A little insistent voice that drones constantly in the back of many Tusconan's minds like a snooze alarm on low: "When? When? When?" When will the rain come?
As is typical, we'd gone without the precious manna from heaven for over a 100 days by the time June rolled around and for weeks the weather was teasing us. Mounds of clouds piling onto each other, bright white on top, dusky gray below. The breeze steadily growing into gusts. Slight ozone tang in the air and you can almost hear the first splat of a drop on the ground. Then it all just dissolves into empty blue and you're left hanging, like a sneeze that never happens.
Then one day, you see the same signs, muttering to yourself "Don't get your hopes up." But _this_ time your ears notice a random cluster of soft beats on the concrete outside. Timpanis of little water splats - at first random and then getting faster and faster and more and more until you have a strong rolling rhythm of RAIN!
And then your whole body seems to let go of this tension you didn't even know you had - this city-wide sigh of relief.
July had a nice amount of monsoon activity and it still seems to be rolling on through August. There was one particularly sweet weekend where the rain fell in a soft pitter patter for days - lulling us to sleep at night and gently waking us in the morning. The sky stayed a soft cottony gray and the leaves of the oleanders that line our backyard were swollen bright green with plant happiness.
But more often than not it's an Experience. Like when we went to see some friends play an outdoor show in south Tucson. We saw flashes of lightning on our way there but dismissed it - it wasn't supposed to rain that night. It was too hot to stay outside (still hovering around 100 by 9 o'clock) so we were battened down in the air conditioned interior waiting for the show to start. Then a crack of thunder out of nowhere stunned us into blank looks of surprise before the door opened as everyone else streamed inside, wet and laughing.
We watched the rain absolutely pour down through the windows as we listened to some raucous music. So cathartic! The temperatures dropped 20 degrees and it was a feeling of sweet relief/release in community. That was a pure Tucson moment.
And I'll keep sitting here, dreaming at the clouds starting to gather again on the horizon this morning. May they blossom and build until they fall back as the life that is water - just enough to keep us going a little longer.