The Promise of Pretend Rain (46)

Summer in Palm Springs requires a kind of stamina, I think. You discover ways to cope with the searing heat. Again and again you count the months remaining until it will be over. We are not quite there yet, and I haven’t given up hope for a stretch of cooler days still between us, but temperatures here are set to keep hugging 100 degrees for at least a few more days. Last summer we had thunderstorms, and I got excited at the thought that global warming might bring a monsoon season to our valley here. When I left town for my annual work retreat in June, I dragged all of my potted plants and trees into a clump and set an automatic sprinkler on them. When I got back, I left the odd little jungle in the corner of our courtyard garden. I liked looking at all that green in one place. Then one day when I was sitting on the patio something went awry with the water pressure, and instead of my 4-foot tall circle of water the sprinkler shot up twice that high. I closed my eyes, and the water hitting the umbrella sounded just like pouring rain. I could hear it pounding on the roof, hear it running off my neighbor’s trailer. When it was done, the wooden fence was soaked, and if I looked at only that one corner, that almost quarter of my courtyard, it was exactly as though the world had been drenched, made new by rainstorm. It felt incredible. In spite of the drought, I couldn’t resist letting it run another time or two before I reeled myself back in. I wanted that feeling again, had no idea we could manufacture it. It made me want to fill the courtyard with plants and drench them like that every day. It made me wish I could just keep letting the sprinkler run amock. And remembering this unintended luxury, I will tuck it away for a possible repeat this summer, one desperate day in July or August. Maybe just knowing it’s an option will ease that sense of desperation in the endless brutal heat.

Please feel welcome to comment. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s