Rain in the desert is unlike rain in Pacific Northwest, the midlands or Florida. In Seattle it is anticipated so much so that it has become part of the folklore, the first thing someone mentions when you state you are visiting or live there. In Florida, the rains increasingly come not as an light afternoon shower, but as torrential downpours, the kind of storm that forces people to evacuate their homes.
In the desert, rain is a welcomed friend, the one that visits just a few times each year. Children rush out to meet her, the adults smile at the sound of her approach, and the burden of the sun is temporarily pushed aside by cloud cover of her cloak.
When rain comes to the desert, it brings with it the generation of aromas that otherwise require the crushing of leaves or stirring of debris underfoot. Sage, mesquite, and flowering ground cover release invisible molecules, stimulating something deeper than the olfactory nerves.
The emotions invoked are not unlike the embrace of a friend or caress of a lover, brought to life in the rapid transition from brown to green. Yet they are fleeting, as quick to arrive as they are to depart, the aroma of the desert rain diminished for what may be a full year.