OPPOSITE OF WHAT ONE MIGHT EXPECT, summer is the wet season in the desert Southwest. (Wait, deserts have a wet season? I thought they were deserts because of a lack of water.) I’ve known about monsoon season, when rising inland temperatures draw in moisture laden air from the Pacific, the Sea of Cortez, and sometimes the Gulf of Mexico, but I’ve never experienced it because I’ve spent my previous summers away from the desert.

However, this summer (and probably many months to come) I’m in southwestern New Mexico helping out a friend and former nomad who’s dealing with cancer and other ailments. That means I’m getting rained on nearly every day. Sometimes only a little, sometimes a deluge.

Rain is usually not good for my state of mind. The gloominess is depressing. The humidity is oppressive. (Even humidity in the 25-30% range feels the same to me now as 80% did when I liven in North Carolina.)  And I can’t just leave the van open all day to get the breeze and fresh air, because it might rain at any moment. I got fooled the other day when it was mostly sunny but a cloud sneeked in overhead and dropped its load on me.

But monsoon season has definite advantages. The biggie, of course, is that we need the water desperately. Rain also helps with the wildfires. And, important to me as someone without air conditioning, the temperatures are lower: highs in the eighties instead of the hundreds. Oh, and there are the fantastic clouds that look like they were lifted from Baroque paintings, minus the angels and elegantly dressed people.

Have you ever seen falling rain lit up like neon by the setting sun? I hadn’t.

How about a double rainbow? Notice how the order of the colors is reversed on the outer rainbow.

So, okay, I can not only deal with the wetter weather, I can enjoy it. For a while.