Woman waits in the desert for rain during monsoon season

Flood My Heart

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Rain drove me to the desert. Years of rain, actually. I’d grown up under gray Midwestern skies that lasted weeks in a row during winter and spring. And fall. Recess was soggy grass and slick playgrounds, a purple raincoat and foggy glasses. At fourteen, we moved to the sunshine state where humidity would collect in spring and summer clouds, and eventually let loose drops so big they stung. The rain fell in torrents, but minutes later, the sky was blue again.

Years later, as a mom in the South, rain meant spoiled plans. It ruined park dates and grocery shopping and birthday parties. The final straw was an Easter Sunday when I braced against icy rain while the kids searched for hidden eggs. I was over it, primed and ready for the job offer that came the following month. My husband’s company wanted him in Arizona. We said “yes.”

The moving process stretched months longer than planned. Chronic pain spasms intensified, which I attributed to the pressure of raising four kids in a house that had to be kept perfect for spontaneous showings. There was packing and piles of paperwork and school withdrawals. The neighbors hung Christmas lights; I said goodbye to my family, my job, and many friends. I often imagined myself in my new bedroom, sighing with relief. Rest is coming, I’d assure myself.

But long after the boxes were unpacked, peace was still elusive. My insides were frenzied, which made sense considering we’d uprooted our lives and were deep in the throes of making a new life. I speculated my unrest was further aggravated by grief, which I avoided by compulsively keeping busy and staying in motion. I wore a heart monitor for a month to figure out why it sometimes felt like my heart might jump out of my chest, but the readings said my heart was fine–strong and healthy, actually.

Every day, the desert sky poured sunshine, and every day, I hurried out to absorb it all. This went on for months, and then one afternoon, the air smelled like rain. The sun shone bright as ever, but a few miles north, the sky was dark. The unmistakable scent of rain loosened my muscles a little and a sense of relief shot through my veins. I settled into a chair by the window and watched the rain come down in sheets. The cracked ground gulped what it could, but the streets quickly became rivers. My kids and neighbor kids ran out with boogie boards and danced in water to their knees. In less than an hour, the monsoon transformed the desert into a rushing waterway, and I soaked it all in, completely still. If this was what renewal felt like, I wanted it. I was ready…

Read the rest at The Redbud Post.

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