|"Our Lady of the Desert Spring", performance from "The Awakening",|
a Play directed and produced by Annie Waters in Willits, Californis (2013)
In Southern Arizona, June is like January in, say, Minnesota - we just try to endure and survive it. It's mind boggling hot in June, and dry, the month when fires start, when plants and people wilt, when kids fry eggs on the pavement a few times before becoming bored with it all. Shimmering heat waves seem to rise from the asphalt pavement of parking lots, and people hurry from one air conditioned space to the next.
We, and the parched and thirsty land, await Monsoon Season. Chubasco, the great magnificent storms that, if all is well, begin in mid July and last sometimes into September. The storms that seem to roll in the afternoons, announcing themselves with thunder and lightening, the delightfully scary and loud darkening of the sky, and then Boom! A blessed wall of water descends (if the Thunder Gods are so inclined).
Suddenly the streets fill with water, a river runs down Broadway, cars stop, and a few of us just stand in the rain getting drenched by the blessing of it all. And then, just as quickly as they rolled in, the Katchinas, Chubasco, the Numina of the waters.........blow away, off to some other part of the desert. Then you stand amazed at the river your street has become, the sound of emergency vehicles and car horns are heard (because there are always fools who try to drive in the midst of the downpour), magnificent rainbows are seen over Tucson, the pungent scent of chapparell is ubiquitous, and all are refreshed.
Within two hours, the streets are dry, and seemingly overnight, the desert has greened and flowered. Most of our water for the coming year comes from the Monsoons - if these patterns of rain should change, life here would cease. Water is life. Yes, we love our Monsoons!