I never imagined myself living in the desert. Born and raised in Orange County, California, I believed that my life would always exist within a certain radius. While we experienced our fair share of heat waves, there was some reassurance in the knowledge that the beach was just a short drive away. The cool coastal breeze and marine layer could temporarily relieve any discomfort caused by summer’s warm embrace.
My life trajectory changed drastically when I met my now husband. Committing to a man who owed at least three years to the Air Force meant that we were no longer the masters of our fate, and that fate was destined for Tucson.
We moved to the Old Pueblo in the middle of June 2014, and I was not prepared for the heat. June heat is unrelenting. Cool mornings are replaced with 90 degree wake-up calls that quickly ascend to temperatures of 112 or higher. Plants find themselves near-death if not appropriately tended to, cars are miserable to enter and fair-skinned individuals, like me; become victims of the sun’s unforgiving rays. The cruel heat left me feeling banished from outdoor life, and I felt stuck.
Yet, now having lived here for four years, I have grown accustomed to this weather pattern and now understand the full purpose of June’s misery. The oppressive heat during the month of June is preparing the way for the monsoons to follow. This high-pressure month is necessary for creating the conditions required to bring in the summer storms and provide the water needed for the desert’s rebirth. A short period of suffering leads to sweet relief and opportunity for growth in the end.
I often feel that life is like the weather in the desert. Our lives are filled with seasons of growth, and also seasons that feel dry and stagnant. It is easy to want to stay where life is comfortable because no one enjoys periods of drought or hardship, but dry seasons have their purpose. Without those times where we find ourselves feeling stuck or in a rut, we may never be willing to open ourselves up to change or growth, or be refreshed by a sudden storm of creative thought. Seasons in the proverbial desert often prepare and strengthen us for the future, if we wait and persist.
So, this summer I am choosing to embrace the dry, hot month of June and will await patiently the product of its high pressure, the first summer storm.