Tomorrow, June 24, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist. Here in Baja (pronounced Ba-Ha) Arizona, we joyfully await the beginning of Monsoon Season as well.
I know what you are going to say, monsoons are winds, which blow at certain times in India. In Arizona, they word has come to mean (and is made correct by common usage) the time of thunderstorms. Or — we fervently hope so.
Southern Arizona is desert. cactus, mesquite, varmints from rattlesnakes to gophers. And very, very little rain. Once a year we hope for rain, and when it comes, we can get some spectacular thunderstorms, the sort the send camera crews from japan to film (yes, they have really done that, a few years ago.)
But, being a desert, the rain is not exactly reliable. Some years the monsoons come and we get enough groundwater replenishment to last until next year. Of late, we have had a bit of a dry spell. The last 20 year or so, a dry spell.
Honestly, people can get real strange about water down here.
So we are hoping.
What does this have to do with John the Baptist?
Old settlers, Mexican Catholics in particular, noticed it is more than likely (or was) to get rain on or right after June 24, St. John’s day. This led to certain customs, including processions (to petition or to thank, I never got that straight) and prayers (Oh Lord, send rain! Now!) Sometimes the only thing which unites Protestants, Mormons, and Catholics is the fervency of the prayers offered up for downfall (quaintly phrased, “Lord, we would appreciate some moisture, about now.”) Moisture? Hells Bells –not too far off at midafternoon temperatures of 105° F — we need RAIN!
So, here’s hoping, and praying, and Saint John Baptist, pray for us also. We need all the help we can get.