July 14, 2010
5:00 a.m. I step out the door under a blanket of clouds. The scent of rain and creosote bush perfumes the air. I am surprised to hear a choir of Purple martins already singing the day awake. In the distance the lights of Tucson are strung along the horizon like illuminated rhinestones. The neighborhood is waking up and I watch as one car after another pulls out of their garage and heads down the street. Soon the sun will rise and this dim darkness will fade to a bright gray, but if the clouds do not break up I will not see the sun.
Sonoran Desert Toad 7-3-10 under the spigot
However, I am already feeling the effects of the steaminess from the pending Monsoon rain. This is the second time this week the clouds have gathered and we have been denied. We are still waiting for rain. The parched ground and our parched psyches all long for that sweet relief, but it has yet to come. The Sonoran Desert Toads are waiting to sing their wild mating songs. For a few weeks now they have been hanging out in my yard under the hose spigot and in my flower beds. At night they languish in the bird bath and soak up moisture, but this is not what they need to breed and reproduce. They need a downpour, an onslaught of rain, a flash flood to get their blood boiling and their reproductive glands inspired. But it has not happened, yet. Perhaps today will be the day.
I view each moment like this now as if it will be my last one here. I wonder if I will remember this intensity when I am in New England. Gus went for his job interview while my sister and my son were here. Now we are just waiting for an offer like the desert waits for rain. Will this be a new dawn for us? I bounce back and forth between emotions. I think of all the things I will get to do in New England, the places I will go. Then I think of all the things I have done here and the things I have yet to do, the places I have yet to go. How can I do it all? I want to.
As I have gotten older and we have traveled and moved around this country I realize more and more how much I love to travel. I want to see new places and experience new things. For me this desire is now amplified by my love of birds and birding. Since moving here to Sycamore Canyon, starting my blog, learning to eBird, and joining Tucson Audubon each trip I take, each place I go now has a new dimension added as I write and count the birds. Each place I visit is now accompanied by the list of birds I saw while I was there. Since moving here to Arizona I have seen 249 species of birds in this place, and I know there are so many more I have yet to see, but I am already looking forward to new birds in new places! I can only wonder if I will still feel this way when it is winter and there is a foot of snow on the ground!
For this morning I have only one decision to make: Do I get dressed and go for a walk before it gets too hot, or do I stay inside and write while it is quiet and my creative juices are flowing? I think I’ll choose the Dawn.
Mt. Fagan Morning 5-24-07