Monday, April 21, 2014
The last of winter left us yesterday, after the clouds wrung remaining drops onto the windshield. Those drops are dusty now, and the windshield holds the pattern they left. It's dirty.
But I think I'll leave it as a reminder that the rains will return. They won't be the rain of winter, but will instead be the thunderstorms of July.
It will be a long wait.
This is what we desert rats call first summer. It is the hot summer, and it begins now, extends through May, and really hits its stride in June. The furnace is kicking in, in other words. Wild fires, air that feels like a sauna, pine needles that snap when stepped on, all signal the arrival of high pressure mixed with a sun directly overhead. Soon we'll begin to count the consecutive string of hundred-degree days.
It's time to hunker down, to get "sunned in," to act like the animals and get up early, retreat when the sun gets higher, and then go back out when it is setting.
It's not a bad rhythm, this desert routine, good work, in other words, if you can get it.
But, of course, we humans tend to ignore such good sense. We stick to our artificial schedules, even when they defy conditions. Instead of adapting, we drive with the A/C too high on asphalt that dries out tires and could cook eggs. We work under a sun that boils the brain. We waste energy and don't harmonize with what we cannot change.
We could harvest more solar energy, but remove credits for installing solar panels. We waste energy fighting against the heat by creating more heat, more CO2. We exhaust ourselves trying to survive conditions we might be better off avoiding.
So it begins again, this season of heat in the desert. If I could I would rewrite the script and make this place cooler, greener, more liveable. But it is what it is, and life belongs to those most able to adapt.