Sense of Place: A Rare Rain in the Sonoran Desert

Aug 14, 2013

Desert rain
Desert Rain
Today rain is
here
Tomorrow Earth will
be dry Monsoons
they call it

  Mid-September, monsoons, warm weather, sand and rocks, mountains and me. I step out of my car into the light rain drops falling down from the stormy sky, cool on my skin. My Adidas Kanadia Trail shoes are ready for this hike. I decide to take a different path rather than my usual, today. 

  I take a path that has not been walked by thousands of people. I take a path that is ridden with rocks and cacti, where there is no specific walkway. I begin walking and go in the direction that my heart directs.

The cool rain continues to drip down on me and I continue to hike up the rocky mountain alone with spirit (the spirit of the mountains, rocks, rain, and the spirit inside me). The rocks are slippery and I know that to continue hiking is dangerous; I hear thunder nearby and see lightning in the distance. But I feel so at peace here in this moment towards the base of this mountain and I imagine the bliss I will feel atop this mountain, so close to the clouds and the rain falling down.

The rain falls harder as I make my way up the bare mountain. The rain is a refreshing complement to the early autumn heat of the Sonoran Desert. Then the rain slows and I stop for a moment, not to rest my body but to embrace the beauty of the landscape that I find myself in. As I stand there allowing my spirit to absorb all of the wonderful energy that surrounds me, I glance to the ground and there, on a rock, is a gecko. He is trying to soak up what little he can of the sparse sun shining through the stormy clouds. I name this gecko Bartholomew and he will forever be my friend and in my thoughts. After photographing my new friend, whose spirit will forever be with me, I continue my climb.

Finally at the top, I feel as though I can almost touch the clouds. I so enjoy being here with the rain and clouds because it is so seldom that they come visit us here in the desert of the most southwestern part of Arizona. I sit on the ground and not only do I see the beauty surrounding me, but I feel it in my heart and soul. I feel so connected with nature and all the positive energy emanating from the earth below me, the rain above me, and the air around me.

There is a tall white cross posted in the ground a few feet from where I sit and I wonder who left it here, why it is here and what its purpose is. The rain becomes heavier and is falling quicker. Now I must leave my place of enchantment for I know the longer I wait, the more difficult the climb down will be. I decide to walk down the other side of the mountain to explore new areas. As I am walking down I find a small overhang which has created a five-foot by five- foot shallow rock shelter. I sit and rest in the dry protection and I contemplate the people from the past who must have used this small overhang for temporary shelter from the harsh elements of the Arizona desert. I think about the Native Americans who once roamed these areas and wonder if any of them sat in this spot where I now find myself, hiding from the rain.

After pondering and day dreaming for a few moments I stand and continue my hike down the dangerous mountain in the middle of a rare downpour in the Sonoran Desert.

Biography: Kellsey Borrud

I was born in Flagstaff, Arizona in June of 1993 into a family that already had two daughters. We moved nearly every two years on the dot, even though neither of my parents were in the military. We stayed mostly in the western part of the US but also lived in Norway for a year. When I as thirteen my mom and stepdad moved one of my sisters and I to Yuma, Arizona, where I’ve lived for almost seven years now. I’ve suffered through the freezing cold temperatures of North Dakota winters and I’ve suffered through the scorching temperatures of Yuma, Arizona summers; everything taken into consideration- the South West is where I belong.