Clouds above the Catalinas on a hot summer day. Photo by author.
Waiting for Rain
For weeks the desert creatures had been intent on tracking the weather. Each day, the dance of the elements seemed more promising than the day before. The skies gazed down to the life forms residing in the Tucson basin and felt their longings mirrored back to them. Earth’s body warmed. Thermals rose high into the atmosphere, and wind kicked up swirling dust devils.
As the heavens desired the earth, so every molecule of desert dust conspired to draw down the heavens. By late afternoon, the clouds’ bellies flashed electric and rumbled. The inhabitants of these worlds found themselves waiting on bated breath for the opening of that portal where the distance between them might be breached, finally, by raindrops.
Day after day, the creatures watched in disbelief as the elemental spells gave way to disappointment. From one moment to the next, the skies retreated. Forms vanished and left no trace. No rain. The dust settled, and moisture was wicked once again from the atmosphere. The moon rose and the stars shone brightly.
The desert city people returned to their shelters. Crestfallen, they contended with unrequited prayers and surrendered to a familiar air-conditioned stupor in the high heat of a long summer.
Maybe tomorrow, they muttered. Tal vez mañana.