The summer monsoon rain season in New Mexico is one of my favorite times of year. The rains come down, usually in late afternoon or early evening and the dessert is washed clean and we rejoice in the moisture. Sometimes the rains are hard and brief, sometimes they are slow and last into the night. The monsoon season is usually early July through mid-September.
This year we haven’t had a ton of rains, but in the last few days we have had several, almost as if the clouds are catching up to the calendar. The rains, coupled with the temperatures that have dropped from the highs of the summer heat, have made the last few days a bit of heaven.
Monsoons make me optimistic. I see the clouds and can depend upon them for sustenance, for replenishing, for renewing. The desert around me blooms in this late summer. It’s not all browns, there are varying shades of green and the yellow of the chamisa is brighter than ever.
Last night I fell asleep to rains and I woke up to up the pitter patter of more rain. I even dared to bring my light rain coat today as I walked to meet the bus to go to work.
I moved to Albuquerque four years ago at the end of monsoon season. In fact, my first day was cloudy and overcast with sprinkles in the morning. I remember running a couple of errands, giddy that I was finally in Albuquerque, and then drove across town to stay with a friend. That afternoon, while I was deep in conversation with the friend, catching up on years and getting used to being in the same room after years of long distance friendship, we had one of the biggest rain storms that I remember.
That rain storm, full of thunder and lightning and even a bit of hail, felt like a welcome back to New Mexico. It felt like a confirmation that I had made the right choice to quit my job and leave Colorado and come back to the land of my yearning, the place I had missed for so long.
These rains, four years later, remind me of my love for New Mexico (not that I need it) and how glad I am to wake up every day here, in my place, this land, my home.
In a year or so (or less), I may be moving. I welcome the rains. I wake up to the orange sunrise. I turn to the mountains for the pink sunset reflection. I dig in to this place, this moment. The future is uncertain. The past is gone.
I feel the rain drops. The monsoons are here a bit longer. I am here a bit longer. I treasure the moisture, the sprinkles, the thunder calling me home.