– Or If You Give an Emily a Creative Spark, She’ll Want to Accost You with Description

This is going to be a slightly different blog post – if  there is even a norm for my blog posts. What follows is an exercise in description, because…well, mostly because I can and I’ve been feeling overly creative lately. It’s not part of a larger whole – it just is, so take it for what you will.

Rain comes very rarely in the desert. You can feel it approaching – you wake up, and the heat seems closer to your skin, the air is still, and clouds black as pitch hang over the horizon. You spent months praying for rain; suddenly, it doesn’t seem so pertinent now. The rest of the caravan wakes and you hope against hope that the storm isn’t hovering over the town you’re steering towards.

This is a false hope, of course. When it rains in the desert, the rain becomes just as all encompassing as the heat. You march forward anyway, everything covered in tarps and children fumbling with ponchos.

The heat is still there, hung with humidity and dust kicked up by the returning wind. The thick air makes progress hard, pulling energy from the bodies of those following you. Fits of coughing rise in the stirring wind. Then, it comes – the deluge of water and wind, freezing in comparison to the heat before. You press forward, urging the caravan to move through the already flooding plains, moving feet and wagons through shifting sand. The heavy drops almost sting when they impact your skin, and you can’t see more than a few inches in front of you. You can’t stop. Lives ride on reaching the town, the oasis in the middle of the salt flats and deserts, and you press forward, grabbing the children that fall around you, desperately trying to keep together. Keep to the path. Don’t get turned around.

And, as suddenly as it came, the rain stops. The clouds roll onwards, and everything stops for a moment. It’s still. The air stops moving, the water stops flowing, and the caravan stops. You press forward still, gathering what water you can, who you can, and move on. The cool air will simmer in the sun; it is better to move forward in it than to pause and enjoy it. And so you move, as you moved through the storm, ever seeking a refuge that is so far off.