April 11, 2011

Under My Cloud

Out in the desert, I've noticed something I haven't noticed elsewhere: you can see where it's raining off in the distance.

Maybe it's because of the wide open spaces, the sky uninterrupted by buildings or billboards, but you have to admit that desert clouds in particular are incredible: variant, reflective, sweeping, staunch, violent, pillowy, looming, gentle. They hang and sweep. They threaten and streak.

And in a climate that receives as little as two or five inches of rain, it may be bright, sunny, hot and clear where you're standing, but off in the distance, you can see that one cloud that has decided to release itself, even for just a few moments.

Sometimes I wonder, when it's so hot, whether the rain immediately evaporates, and never hits the land below. Is it really raining then?

I remember one time as a child, looking out the kitchen window - I spent a lot of time inside the house looking out the windows - I noted, "It's raining across the street." No drops had hit our windows yet. Our sidewalk was dry. But I could see the rain falling, imminent. And soon enough, it made its way to our side of the street.

I guess I've spent so much of my life under the cloud that's raining, that it never occurred to me that it might not be raining everywhere else.

And now it's not raining on my side of the street, where I stand or where I walk. I can see that it rains elsewhere, but it's not raining here.

And that cloud doesn't look like it's headed in my direction, even as a walk, hike, drive or paddle.

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