When the Rain Comes (or, It Sure Is Dry Here in the Desert)

This being a desert, precipitation is a concern and a topic of conversation more than in most places.

So I’m excited that rain is in the forecast for today. Well, a high probability of rainfall, anyway. We get rain clouds and forecasts of rain now and then, but often those clouds don’t give up their rain. They taunt us with the dark skies all day but no water.

Today should be different since there’s already a slight drizzle. Enough to create a rainbow. The drizzle turned to snow briefly, which was unexpected, but we should see the benefits of a big storm moving through southern California in a few hours. Here’s hoping.

One of the many beautiful things about living here in Joshua Tree is the seasons. I grew up in Minnesota, so I have a wee bit of experience with winter. There’s a picture of me when I was about two years old, lying in a snowbank. I always wondered why my parents took that picture, but it was Minnesota, so I guess it didn’t seem odd to toss your kid into a four-foot-high snowbank and snap a photo.

I came to California in 1984, so I spent about 35 years in a place with virtually zero seasons. Sure, the weather changes a bit during the year, but I didn’t even have a winter coat for those 35 years. I had maybe one sweater. I love Los Angeles with all of my heart, it was my home, but I like it much better out here.

If you grow up with those seasons, those reliable changes a few times a year, it becomes kind of ingrained in you. The rhythms. The death and rebirth. Respect for what nature can do for you and to you.

Even the harshness of the desert can’t discourage new life

It takes a long time to adjust when you’re taken out of that climate. It wasn’t until we came to the desert that I realized how much I had adjusted to the Mediterranean climate of Los Angeles and how much I missed the clear separation of the seasons.

But I’m here now, and I don’t ever intend to leave.

day 14


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