This past week, I traveled to Sedona, Arizona to meet up with my sister for some sibling time. We hiked along deep red trails and dodged puddles from recent winter rains. We shared good food, powerful and poignant memories, and stories about our work. We are both editors who do a variety of related types of paid work, yet our lives have taken very different trajectories. It was a blessing to catch up with each other and accumulate additional shared memories.
As we planned our hiking schedule around the forecast storms, I found myself thinking a lot about winter rains. When we were in the Holy Land in 2017, I learned that the climate and temperatures there are not very different from the Sonoran Desert here in Arizona. I saw a number of familiar cacti alongside the roadways! I also learned that not all the Holy Land was dry and barren. Winter rains make the land of Galilee especially green and fertile, especially in the winter.
So, as my sister and I dodged winter rainstorms during our stay in Sedona, I didn’t grumble. I was thinking about the value of winter rain for the desert. The lettuce in my garden back home was drinking up the precious moisture. I imagined the saguaro cactus in our front yard swelling with the water it absorbed. I thought about the solar panels on our roof getting a good washdown so they can absorb more sun in the days and months ahead.
Of course, winter rains can be a threat as well. Too much rain can lead to ponding, flooding, and dangerous landslides. In Sedona, we drove through a hailstorm at one point where the hail was thick enough to look like snow on the roadway! Fortunately, we and our cars survived unscathed.
From a broader perspective, I do celebrate winter rains in the desert. They bring precious moisture that sustains the landscape in the sunny months, when no rain falls and the clouds disappear. Of course, the clouds and rain can also make for stunning photographic opportunities. (Yes, I will share some of my Sedona photos on Instagram this week.)
What moisture, if any, falls in the winter where you live? What is your perspective on it? What can you find to celebrate—even when it might disrupt your vacation plans?