We are finally getting some halfway decent rain here in Phoenix. It doesn't happen all that often, even with our talk of "monsoon" season. The Phoenix Valley is a little bit of an odd place when it comes to the rain. Whenever we get a grey, cloudy, rainy day, people are actually very happy. Maybe it's because it's such a relatively unusual event for us. I mean, other places I've lived, when it starts to rain people get depressed and they mope around. Here, you will see people walking around in the rain with their heads tipped back just a bit so the rain falls on their faces. I will freely admit that I am one of these people. Thinking about it, the lack of rain is probably the thing I dislike the most about living in Arizona (and, yes, I am aware of the fact that I frequently rant about the heat, but that's really a secondary thing). Don't get me wrong, I actually have come to really love living here. The desert has a unique beauty to it that cannot be found elsewhere. And I'm not too sorry to be rid of the three feet of snow you sometimes get in Colorado. But I do miss the rain.
Everywhere else I've lived, it rained on at least a semi-regular basis. In Colorado, during the summer, you could watch the thunderheads build and boil over the front range through the early afternoon and we would often get these absolutely amazing thunderstorms in the early evening and into the night. I lived just outside Seattle for a few years as a small child, and we all know how much it rains there in the winter (despite popular opinion, it does not rain all year - just for between half and three-quarters of it). Hawai'i, where my dad's family is from, is pictured as this sunny paradise - which much of it is. But where we're from, it's rain forest. You get both the strong down pours and the long, light drizzles. It rains in Waimea (Big Island, not Kaua'i) probably between 3 and 5 days a week on the dry side of town. The wet side, it's 5 to 7 days a week. I also spend some time living in Swansea, Wales, which could give Scotland a run for its money when it comes to rain - at least, during the winter it could. It doesn't rain that much in the summer. So, Arizona is really the first place I've lived without at least some rain. It means that I take special pleasure in days like this when we do get some.
Of course, in time I spent writing this, the rain has stopped. sigh.
And before anyone asks, Haniakuluiau is the Hawai'ian goddess of rain.