We have had the driest summer I believe on record this year. But about a week ago that high pressure bubble burst, and it has been raining ever since. I love the rain, I love the smell of rain, I love that I don’t have to water my garden, but I love sunshine too! Yesterday my husband and I went to Anchorage to go to the temple, and it was not sunny in Anchorage, but it was not raining either. It was a nice temperature and pleasant to be outside. As soon as we got back to the valley it was raining and rained the rest of the way home. Sometimes I don’t enjoy the rain as much as I should.
This morning as I listened to the rain on the roof however, I started thinking about the rain where I grew up, and how much I loved it when it rained. I grew up in Southern Utah in a town called Cedar City. Cedar is a high mountain desert that doesn’t get a lot of precipitation during the year. However, the nice thing about Cedar is that it does have all four seasons. Cedar is situated right up against the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Cedar City is at an elevation of 5,850 feet, and the peaks east of Cedar can be as much as 10,000 feet within just a mile as the crow flies. Because of the drastic elevation change, the clouds would roll over, run into the mountain tops and swirl over Cedar and the surrounding area. It was impressive to watch.
Preceding the rain, and usually with the cloud bank rolling in, there would be thunder and lightning. We didn’t have very many of these types of storms in the summer, it’s definitely a desert there, but when they came, there was no question they were coming. I loved sitting out on our front porch under the awning listening to the thunder and watching the lightning. This is one of my favorite parts of living in the desert, and one of the things I miss the most by living in Alaska. We rarely get thunderstorms here in our area.
Then the rain would come. I loved listening to the rain, and I loved the fresh smell of rain, and the way mother nature cleans the world around with the rain. The rain would come so fast, only last a short time, usually less than 20 minutes, and then it would disappear again. But boy would it rain in those 20 minutes! My parent’s street runs north and south, and there is a pretty good slope from east to west. They live on the uphill side of the street, east. When it would rain, the gutters and street would fill very quickly, and then they would overflow and, across the street, the neighbor’s yards would then start filling with water! I never saw it actually reach anyone’s homes, but it would get pretty close sometimes. And then just like that, the rain would stop, the water would soak in or run away, and it was sunny again. We called these gully washers, because the many gullies in the area would fill full of water in just minutes and then it would all run west into the desert. There are many hiking areas in that area that you wouldn’t want to be in during a gully washer, and many stories of people caught in those places when they did fill with water.
I am not a huge fan of the constant rain that we get here in Alaska, the drizzle for weeks on end, and currently there is not end in sight on the forecast. But I do still love the rain, I love the smell, and I love the freshness that comes because of the rain. I also love the green that Alaska has, and it’s because of the amount of rainfall that we get here. It is a beautiful place, and because I love Alaska, I will love the rain that makes the summer green (and also reduces our fire danger dramatically!).