Then the monsoons come. In the afternoons clumps of billowing white clouds mushroom up on the horizon. Often that is all we get. But this Sunday evening the clouds continue to gather and turn from fluffy white to leaden grey. A brownish haze descends in a wall of dust that blots out nearby landmarks. We go inside and eat a chili dinner, and later I go back out in the dark. The dust has passed and the air is charged with moisture, you can feel it and smell it, almost taste it. The creosote shrubs release delicious Rain-is-Coming perfume, sweet and musky. Nearby palms, palo verde and ficus trees stir, shaking off the dust as a heralding wind picks up. Lighting flashes in the distance, lighting whole sectors of the western sky. Distant thunder rumbles a near constant growl. The edge of the storm continues its slow advance and the temperature cools. The trees now thrash their branches and fronds with abandon – the wind is pushy and loud. A great flash brightens the sky and the chaotic image of a multi-pronged lightning bolt sears my brain. Thunder booms and I wait for the deafening crack that means its time to go in. The rain begins like a caress on my forehead, was that a drop? Soon the drops fall with purpose. The wind dies out, the trees are still, you can imagine them sipping and gulping. Then the rain pounds down, each drop like a small bucketful flung with fury from above. The sound of water fills the world; water pours off the roof, smatters the dirt, splashes into puddles, hammers on flagstone. I hurry inside to open windows, but this marvelous monsoon is over all too soon.