This is the summer I grew up with; these are the warm months that filled me with nostalgia when I lived in DC. Here there is a distinct smell of dust in the air when it rains. I don't know how to explain it. The rain here is almost dry. The air does not become humid with the rain. You can literally smell the dust being displaced by the raindrops, swirling up in the air. It is very, very different from the rich, thick smell of rain on the East Coast. When it does rain here, if you get caught in it you are dry in 10 minutes. The rain just evaporates off bodies and clothes. I was so surprised the first time I got caught in the rain back East. First, it kept raining -- it wasn't just a small afternoon storm. I understood the phrase "pouring rain" for the first time. Second, I couldn't get over how I would never dry off. It didn't matter if I'd been soaked in the rain or just misted. The rain had nowhere to evaporate. The air was saturated and couldn't accept another molecule of water. I never did get used to staying wet and miserable if I got caught in the rain in DC.
Often the land I live on gets described as "empty," "desolate," or "a wasteland." I vehemently disagree with assessments like these.The land all around is constantly transitioning. It is never static. Right now, all along the highway to the house scores of delicate, lavendar flowers are exploding in bloom. Antelope are dropping babies -- tiny, tiny antelope babies!! Every time I am on the highway I find myself swerving all over the lanes, craning my neck to see the little ones wobbling around in the tall grass. The other day I saw itty-bitty twins run up to their mama.
My heart soared.