Weather Report, Mojave Desert, 8-2-14

(I wrote this after taking a hike in the Mojave Desert a few weeks ago.)

Weather Report: Mojave Desert – 8-2-14

Thunder lags behind lightning beyond an outcrop of stone slabs framed by clusters of Joshua trees with spikes shivering in the wind. A dark gauzy curtain descends from a boiling mass of cloud. Scattered spits of rain puff dust out of tiny craters they form on impact in the fine dirt. The cooling air fills with the overwhelming scent of wet creosote. Jackrabbits dance among the cholla cactus in their search for cover. Pale dirt turns dark, then bright with sheets of water shining steel grey in reflection of the storming sky. Dirt puddles into mud forming rivulets flowing into each other and down to wet the drywash. Grey-brown water churns around swirls of sand, rattles rounded rocks, cuts curves, disorganizes and re-organizes rocks and twigs, grinds coarse to fine. Flash-Boom!


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Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California

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