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During The Monsoon, A Time For Rebirth, Renewal

By Sarah Ventre
Published: Friday, August 25, 2017 - 4:42pm
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Like fall in New York, there’s a season that it seems all Arizonans look forward to: monsoon season. But unlike the Big Apple, monsoon weather is unique to the Southwest,  and you never quite know what it will bring.

For a series exploring personal relationships to the monsoon, producer Sarah Ventre explains why for her, the monsoon means change.

For those of us in the desert, spring is not the time of rebirth.

We don’t await the melting of snow, the leaves returning to trees, or the thawing of the ground. No. We await the monsoon.

We await the wind that kicks up the earth around us, encircling us in gritty blankets of dust. We await that moment when summer breaks — just for a moment —  and the sky opens up revealing thick, warm rain. We await the time when — like succulents — we soak up all the nourishment and energy the rain provides, till our hearts and souls are full.

Our rebirth comes in the dead of the summer — in oppressive heat, stagnant air and stillness — when many empty out to escape to the beach or the mountains or somewhere less confronting. The rest of us are left behind to contemplate our choices; what will we do to keep pushing forward when it’s so easy to stand still?

And then ... the monsoon.

The wind caresses us, bringing hope and newness. The rain reminds us that inevitable change is coming.

And the dust, a humbling piece of our roots from under our feet. It sticks to us, coating our skin as a sharp and literal reminder of the messiness of life. Forcing us to confront the things we cannot shake.

The smell of concrete, heat, sweat and the creosote. It coats the desert floor refreshing us, leaving a residue behind reminding us of the chaos from the storm, and giving us purity and freshness.

I have timed changes in my life to the monsoon season.

In my 20s, I would sit outside right before a monsoon, right in that moment when the sky is a hazy orange-red, and everything is obscured by clouds. When the humidity is high, and you can anticipate the feeling of the clouds bursting.

I would sit on the curb and stare at those clouds, past the horizon and into the blur of the storm that was coming. I’d wait for it to hit. And when it finally happened and the rain would come, I’d stand up and start laughing. All of a sudden, there was euphoria and joy at the sense of possibility.

Just when it feels like everything is the same, when the air is still and you feel most stuck — everything changes.

My anxiety can come to rest for just a moment, and I can rejoice in the chance for renewal.

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