Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The mother of monsoon seasons

Sunflowers as high as an elephant's eye.
In the years I was gone, the grass fell away and the cows were sold. 'Monsoon' came to mean the memory of a teaspoon of rain that fell on a solitary August afternoon.

When I was a kid, monsoon meant a month of afternoon thundershowers, leading to tall green grass and fat black caterpillars by the end of summer.

In my wandering years more sand dunes were grown than grass. Then over a month ago, the clouds rolled in and it began to rain.

Perhaps fate declared revenge on the a nice man who offered to help us build a flagstone porch back in June, and has been waiting for a dry afternoon ever since. Perhaps we brought the rain back with us from England.

Whatever it is, you can hear the aquifers filling deep under the earth, and the plants singing on the
Growing puddles. 
surface. The river has risen and weird aquatic bugs tango on my porch at night. The awful weeds - nightshade, cockleburrs, tumbleweeds - have grown perilously high and are demanding voting rights.

Each year at the Taos Pueblo church, a statue of Mary on the alter wears a water-blue dress to mark the monsoon season. I wonder how many dust-colored summers she has hopefully weathered in blue.

When it is dry, it feels like it will never rain again. But a wise man once told me: "How do I know what the weather will do tomorrow? I don't even know what I will do tomorrow."


  1. That is a lot of rain in that there pic! I am not sure I would like the fat caterpillar stage either! :)

  2. Fat caterpillars can be a little alarming, it's true...