Rain Dance

The irony is not lost on me.  Up until a year ago, I lived in a place notorious for rain.  I loved it for the first 10+ years I lived in Portland, but eventually it started to get to me.  I got tired of putting on my rain gear every morning to walk the dog.  The gray sky that once gave me a cozy, stay-inside-with-a-cup-of-coffee feeling started to depress me.  I was so relieved to move back to New Mexico and warm my bones in the sun.


This summer, however, I find myself praying for rain multiple times a day.  In the city, the rain or lack thereof seems mostly a matter of physical comfort, or extra work to keep the lawn green even though you live in the desert.  In the mountains, where I now live, the consequences are much more dire.  I need only to look east to the mountain range above us to see the evidence of a major forest fire that devastated the mountain community in the ninties.  From a distance, the burned trees look like toothpicks on a hill.  The national forest that surrounds our property is currently closed to the public due to extreme fire danger, and we daily breathe smoke from the Los Conchas fire burning near Los Alamos, just south of us.  The fire has burned well over 100,000 acres and came dangerously close to Los Alamos National Laboratories, a major nuclear facility.  We all listened to news reports with a healthy amount of skepticism as we were told the above-ground nuclear waste that was being stored in tents was not going to present a public safety hazard (Tents?  Really?)


Luckily, we have entered what is known here as Monsoon season, where afternoon rains are a regular occurrence for the months of July and August.  We’ve gotten a couple of showers so far, which make it a little less scary.  And it smells so good after a rain.  But the amount of precipitation still hasn’t been enough to lower the fire risk or open the forests.


So, we keep doing the rain dance in our heads.

~ by Kate Mann on 14 July 2011.

One Response to “Rain Dance”

  1. I know exactly how you feel, but in the opposite. Growing up in Portland I grew tired of the gray skies and have loved living in the desert over the past five years. Yet the last year or so I have just felt so dried out and am actually tired of the “nice” weather. The sun is beginning to depressing me and when we get even a sprinkle, it feels as tough my thirty soul is being quenched.
    I too do my own rain dance.

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