Sitting in Nob Hill, we notice the wind has picked up. The street is filled with moving debris, swirling into churning collections of leaves, dirt, and papers. Tree limbs bend; some break and fall to the ground. Branches litter the streets, the largest blocking traffic. Low-hanging wisps of cloud move rapidly below the dark bubbling thunder head. Moving left, right, and eventually expanding upwards rapidly. Something is brewing, bubbling, and ready to break.
This is not the standard New Mexico monsoon. This is a full blown thunderstorm.
The rain begins in sheets, dropping at angles defined by wind and illuminated by lighting. This is not a romantic rain. You do not want to be caught out in this storm. With newspapers on our heads, we make our break for the car. The paper umbrellas prove useless, but we make it nonetheless.
The New Mexico desert soil is quickly saturated, causing the arroyos and streets to fill, like thick moving rivers. The occasional street light is out, causing a clusterfuck of New Mexico drivers.
The line of trees across Nob Hill are flowing now. Like plants underwater, they dance to the grey backdrop of the early evening light. You can see the wind move across the city, interrupted only by lightning flashes illuminating the thick cloud ceiling.
As the grey goes to black, the lighting turns from an accent to the night sky to a jarring interruption. The wind is no longer visible, only heard whistling through the roof vents. The rain is a constant rattle against the pavement, alternating from present to persistent. The sound is soothing, taking you to a distant place, far from the desert we live in. The spray of cars driving by provides the occasional crescendo to this aquatic symphony.
Then, without warning, CRACK!
The lightning returns. The bolt of lightning feels distinctly different than the boom of thunder. As if the gods are sick of yelling and grasping our attention.
As the thunder subsides, we are left with a calm drizzle. Pattering on the streets and tinkering on the air vents. For the desert, this storm is welcome like the affection of a passionate lover. This is the rain we asked for, the rain we need, and the rain we will get.