By Rene Allen
According to today’s Arizona Star, the monsoon season for Tucson has officially ended. Directional air flow, seasonal shift, the rotation of Mother Earth and her tilted axis, call it what you will, but there’s been a precipitous drop in humidity and mornings are something to sing about.
On the evening of September 1, we shouldered through a wedding reception in our backyard. Before, everyone watched the sky. Rain or no rain? It rained. I sat on the porch swing at 3 in the afternoon and watched it. There was a grand lightening show. Thunder rolled and banged. Our son’s in-laws, straight from San Francisco worried. Would it stop in time? “Never fear,” I said.” This is the desert. In an hour it’ll all be over and the air will be about ten degrees cooler and well, it couldn’t be more perfect.”
We received a lot of rain this summer, almost 7 inches. The Catalina Mountains to the North, burned out in two consecutive wildfires three and four years ago, are green and happy. I’m happy. When there is rain and the cacti swell like plump thumbs and dozens of thimble sized baby quail scurry after their parents, I feel like Robert Browning did in “Pippa’s Song,” God’s in his heavens, All’s right with the world.
Fifty years from now, were someone to cut down one of the 100 ft. tall eucalyptus trees behind our home, and look at those telling tree rings, he would see a good year, a nice fat ring coming after seven extraordinarily thin ones. It’s been a long, dry haul. Strangely, we haven’t heard a word from Tucson Water about rationing this year, and they didn’t even bother with their Beat the Peak campaign about being smart water users. I think it was relief, plain old relief that this year the heavens opened and gave us water and okay, take a break from all the worry about having enough to survive. We’ll get back to that soon enough.
And now, officially, the season is over but I don’t think anyone told the desert. It’s still green and happy, optimistic about another year, recovered from the seven years of drought. That’s the amazing thing about the desert, how it manages when there is so little moisture, and how those dry and brittle limbs and shriveled saguaros turn green and plump after the rain.
I wanted to write about hope today, how that is the compelling quality that keeps us going when times are tough, hope that they’ll get better, hope that something will change, hope that I can change. That’s what a famous teacher once told me, Virginia Satir. She said there is always hope your life can change because you can always learn new things.
I remember looking out my window two years ago, when the rainfall had been half what it is now, and wondering if the desert would be scarred and changed forever. Today, I look out and see bees hovering over the Mexican Birds of Paradise, and a autumn blue sky that is clean and clear, and I am reminded that there in One who knows more, loves more, blesses more than any of us souls who worry so much about the desert and rain and what the future holds.
In Moroni 10:22, Moroni says if you don’t have hope, you are in despair, and that despair comes because of iniquity. I have thought a great deal about that verse, asking myself what kind of iniquity was Moroni speaking about?
He also says that where there is faith, there must also be hope. Is that iniquity of which Mornoi speaks a lapse in faith? I have wondered.
Faith, hope, rain and drought and the end of the monsoon season, wheeling into fall: it’s been a good summer, a reminder that my ways, are not His, He who created this earth, who watches and governs it. "God is in His heavens, All’s right with the world."