I wrote the post below today for Teachers Write, but I thought I would share it here because it’s a slice of my life, though 20 years ago. I was thinking of Arizona a lot today because I baked a lemon meringue pie and because the weather is really hot and steamy here in Bahrain, a little like Arizona during the monsoon season. When I saw today’s prompt, this wondrous mud puddle came to mind.
A wondrous puddle is hidden in the Bermuda grass most of the year. Who would have thought there was magic in that small bald patch of yard? The patch near the naval orange tree where the grass can’t grow has the approximate diameter of a large kiddy pool, but the comparison ends there. There is nothing tame about this piece of earth when the rains come.
Unfortunately, Mom never let them flood it with the hose. Otherwise they could have enjoyed mud baths all summer long, mud baths that were simultaneously exhilarating and restful. Mud baths that put grit in their teeth, long-lasting cakes under their fingernails, and the smell of magic in their nostrils. Instead, these girls were forced to pray for rain.
On this day, monsoon winds come. Dust is in the air. Finally, raindrops the size of 50-cent pieces splotch the deck around the pool and back porch. And, yes, the drops are even noticeable in the sticky caliche soil near the orange tree. The girls watch from the French door windows, willing the drops to keep falling. Please not another false rain alert is their unspoken prayer. So often the muddy drops end as a vain attempt to wash the dirt out of the sky, a tease of petrichor they can feel and smell even in the house. More often than not, in Phoenix, the summer rains stop not only before they wash the dust out of the air, but well before they fully wet sidewalks or muddy the hopeful spot in the yard.
This time, though, it’s different. The magic is working. Not just pitter patter. These drops are thunk thunk thunking on the roof, ping ping pinging on the tin cover of the A/C unit in the yard, and quietly invading the dry soil around the orange tree. It is a real monsoon rain. Finally. The season came late this year, but today rain will win the battle to uncover the wondrous mud puddle.